BRUSSELS – The European Union's statistical agency says that more than 63,000 children traveling without adult company applied for asylum last year, more than half of them Afghan and Syrian nationals.
Eurostat said Thursday that 63,300 unaccompanied minors applied for international protection in the 28 EU nations plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
It said the number was a third down from last year but still five times higher than the annual average.
More than two thirds of the minors were males and aged 16 to 17. Almost 6,300 were under 14. Almost 60 percent of the applicants sought asylum in Germany.