Fewer seeking asylum in Sweden

The number of foreigners seeking asylum in Sweden has fallen by 17 percent in the first half of 2009, compared to the same period last year, according to the Swedish Migration Board’s (Migrationsverket) mid-year report to the Swedish government.

This development is in direct contrast to the trend in the rest of Europe, where the number of asylum seekers increased by 18 percent in the first six months of 2009, reported Sveriges Radio Östergötland.

Between January and June 2008, 12,270 people sought asylum in Sweden. The equivalent figure for 2009 is 10,135. The decline is primarily due to a decrease of 74 percent in the number of Iraqis who sought asylum compared to the year before.

The largest group of asylum seekers is now from Somalia. Thus far in 2009, 2074 people from Somalia have applied for asylum in Sweden, according to SR Östergötland.

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