Europe

Germany: 280,000 new migrants last year, far lower than 2015

  • German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere arrives at the weekly cabinet meeting of the German government at the chancellery in Berlin, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

    German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere arrives at the weekly cabinet meeting of the German government at the chancellery in Berlin, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)  (The Associated Press)

  • German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, right, and Frank-Juergen Weise, head of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), left, address the media during a joint press conference on the 'Asylum Report 2016' in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. Germany's Interior Ministry says that about 280,000 new asylum-seekers arrived in the country last year _ far below the influx of 890,000 in 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

    German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, right, and Frank-Juergen Weise, head of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), left, address the media during a joint press conference on the 'Asylum Report 2016' in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. Germany's Interior Ministry says that about 280,000 new asylum-seekers arrived in the country last year _ far below the influx of 890,000 in 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)  (The Associated Press)

Germany's Interior Ministry says that about 280,000 new asylum-seekers arrived in the country last year — far below the influx of 890,000 in 2015.

Arrivals declined sharply with the closure of the Balkan migrant route in March and the subsequent agreement between the European Union and Turkey to stem the flow across the Aegean Sea to Turkey.

Asylum applications have lagged well behind arrivals and many people who came to Germany in 2015 applied only last year.

The figures released Wednesday showed that 745,545 formal asylum applications were made last year — 268,869 more than in 2015.