Over 13 thousand Gambians, almost half of the population of country’s capital Banjul, between the ages of 14 to 34 have sought asylum in Europe in 2016, EU data has shown.
A country of 1.9 million inhabitants, Gambia is a small stripe of land divided by river into almost two equal halves and the population of its island capital Banjul is about 34,828.
A statistical database shared with this medium has shown that 13,135 Gambians have applied for asylum in EU in 2016, 12,920 of which are first time applicants in the same year.
However, the European Statistics Department that shared this information with this medium has stated that it does not have complete information for October, November and none on December.
“Please note that the data for the entire EU in October and November are incomplete, as some Member States have not yet submitted their data,” Baiba Grandovska, a media officer at the European Statistics Department wrote in an email response to The Torch.
The information from the Euro Stats based in Luxembourg shows a breakdown of Gambian migrants into different age categories.
Those less than 14 years are 145, while 14 to 17 years are 1,555; 18 to 34 years are 10,865 and the last category from 35 to 64 years scores 575
Germany took 4,945 asylum seekers of which 4,845 are first timers while Italy took 7,160 asylum seekers of which 7,105 are first timers.
Gambia is one of the leading migrant producing countries in Africa per percentage of arrivals in EU, the Italian interior ministry said barely a month ago.
However, this numbers are only restricted to Gambians who sought asylum in EU which may punch below or above the number of Gambians that arrived in the 28-member country in 2016 through irregular migration.
“Unfortunately, we have no information on the number of Gambians that have arrived at the shores of Italy via the Mediterranean Sea,” Grandovska added.