A startling figure of twenty-one thousand three hundred and thirty Gambians have sought asylum in the European Union countries between 2008 to 2014, according to the Luxembourg-based European Statistical Department.
This surpasses the population of the entire Central Baddibou electoral constituency by 1, 226 as of 2013 which was at 20, 104, according to 2013 Population and Housing Census Preliminary Results.
Italy and Germany were the biggest recipients with Italy registering 8, 575 asylum seekers of which 8, 490 were first time applicants while Germany took a share of 1, 945 of which 1, 910 were first time applicants in 2014 alone.
According to the Eurostats document, the number of Gambians who have sought asylum in Europe in 2014 stood at 11, 515 representing a hike of about more than half the total amount since 2008.
The figure is also two times more than the number of Senegalese who have sought asylum in EU in 2014 which stood at 5, 290 of which 5, 190 were first time applicants.
Other countries like Switzerland, Finland, Spain and the Netherlands have also registered a fairly higher figure.
The documents have also shown that 2, 925 Gambian teenagers- 14 to 17 years and less than 14- have sought asylum in EU within the 7-year period, most of whom were first time applicants.
According to the document, in 2014 alone, which has registered a higher number of asylum seekers, Gambians from the age limits of 14 to 17 who have sought asylum in EU stood at 1, 140; a huge chunk of whom, 1, 135, were first time applicants.
However, the figure of the less-than-fourteen year olds in 2014 was slightly lower standing at 185, majority of which, 180, are first times asylum applicants.
The age categories that registered the highest number of asylum seekers throughout the 7-year period were those from 18 to 34.
In 2014, 9, 745 within the 18 to 34 age bracket have sought asylum in EU countries, according to the document.
However, the EU press officer have explained in an email that the figures only represent the countries whose data on asylum they have received from their relevant authorities.
“Please note that the EU aggregates are the sum of the figures of the available countries and are thus only “complete” if the data for all Member States are available,” Tiny wrote.