Germany: new asylum seekers drop to 186,000 in 2017

The German government says the number of new asylum-seekers registered in the country dropped significantly last year to some 186,000.

The figure of 186,644 given by the Interior Ministry on Tuesday compared with some 280,000 in 2016 and a peak of 890,000 the previous year, when the influx of migrants from the Middle East and elsewhere to Europe was at its peak.

Syrians were the biggest single group of new migrants last year, accounting for 47,434 of the total. They were followed by 21,043 Iraqis and 12,346 Afghans.

In December, 13,082 new arrivals were registered, somewhat lower than in the previous months.