More than 2,500 unaccompanied children (under 18s) applied for asylum in Greece during 2017, making up 12.4 % of total applications, according to Eurostat figures released on Wednesday.
According to Eurostat about 94% of unaccompanied minors applying for asylum in Greece in 2017 were boys, while children under 14 accounted for 5 %. The greatest number (48 % ) were from Pakistan, 21 % from Afghanistan and 13 % from Syria.
In neighbouring Italy there was also a sharp rise of asylum applications submitted by unaccompanied minors , which jumped 66 % in a year, but a sharp drop was reported in Germany (-75 %), Austria (-65 %t), Sweden (-40 %t) and in the UK and Netherlands (-31 %), Eurostat reported.
About 31,395 asylum applications were submitted within the EU by unaccompanied minors in 2017, accounting for 14.8 % of the total. More than 10,000 applications by unaccompanied minors, or 32 % of the EU total and 65 pct of all applications in that country, were submitted in Italy.
Overall, Germany came second with 9,100 (29 %), Greece with 2,500 (8 %), the United Kingdom with 2,200 (7 %), Austria with 1,400 (4 %), Sweden with 1,300 (4 %) and the Netherlands with 1,200 (4 %).