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EU Granted Asylum To More Than 330,000 Migrants In 2015

Migrants and refugees board a dinghy to travel to the Greek island of Chios from Cesme in the Turkish province of Izmir, November 4, 2015.

The European Union's statistics agency has said EU countries granted asylum to more than 330,000 migrants last year, as more than 1 million people arrived in the bloc.

Eurostat said on April 20 that 333,350 people were granted international protection, a 72 percent increase over 2014.

Around half of them -- 166,100 people -- were Syrian nationals, while 27,600 came from Eritrea, and 23,700 from Iraq.

Germany has approved the most asylum applications.

Sweden came in second with protection granted to 34,470 people, followed by Italy with 29,630; France with 26,015; Britain with 17,920; Austria with 17,750; and the Netherlands with 17,045.

The EU countries that took in the least people -- less than 100 -- were Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, and Slovakia.

Eurostat did not say how many of the approved asylum applications were made before 2015, nor did it say how many applications from last year were still pending.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa