Over 31 000 unaccompanied minors among asylum seekers registered in the EU in 2017. Afghan continued to be the top citizenship
In 2017, 31 400 asylum seekers applying for international protection in the Member States of the European Union (EU) were considered to be unaccompanied minors. This was nearly half the number recorded in 2016 (63 200 unaccompanied minors registered) and almost one-third of the peak registered in 2015 (95 200), but over two and a half times higher than the annual average during the period 2008-2013 (around 12 000 per year). In total in the EU, unaccompanied minors accounted for 15% of all asylum applicants aged less than 18.
In 2017, a majority of unaccompanied minors seeking asylum were males (89%). Considering age, over two-thirds were aged 16 to 17 (77%, or about 24 200 persons), while those aged 14 to 15 accounted for 16% (around 5 000 persons) and those aged less than 14 for 6% (almost 2 000 persons). Afghan (17%, or around 5 300 persons) continued to be the main citizenship of asylum applicants considered to be unaccompanied minors in the EU.