Mediterranean Update: 101,900 migrant arrivals in Europe in 2015

By  Flavio Di Giacomo in Rome

Approximately 101,900 migrants have arrived on Europe’s shores on smugglers’ vessels since the beginning of January.  The vast majority came to Italy and Greece: 54,660 migrants reached Italy (mostly via Libya), while 46,150 migrants reached Greece (mostly via Turkey).

About 7,000 people were rescued in the Channel of Sicily between Saturday 6 June and Monday 8 June by a flotilla of international ships (including Italian, German, British, Swedish, Spanish and Irish vessels). No fatalities were reported. Migrants were brought to the ports of Lampedusa, Catania, Augusta, Palermo, Trapani, Pozzallo (Sicily), Reggio Calabria, Corigliano Calabro, Vibo Valentia (Calabria) and Taranto (Apulia).

According to official figures provided by the Italian Ministry of Interior, 47,449 migrants arrived by sea in Italy from January to May 2015, a slight increase in comparison to the same period of last year, when arrivals were 41,243. As of 31 May the main nationalities of migrants arriving in Italy were: Eritrean (10,985), Somali (4,958), Nigerian (4,630), Syrian (3,185), Gambian (2,941), and Senegalese (2,328).

More significantly, Greece has been interested by a significant increase in the number of arrivals in comparison to last year. Between January and December 2014 arrivals were about 34,000, while today, after the first 5 months of the year, arrivals are already about 46,150. Main nationalities of migrants are Syrian and Afghan.

Arrivals to Italy and Greece and deaths in the Mediterranean, 1 January – 8 June, 2015

Country of Arrival





1,816  (Central Med route)





31  (Eastern Med route)


1,000 +

18  (Western Med and Western African routes)

Estimated Total




Arrivals estimates based on data from respective governments and IOM field offices.
Notes on arrivals: Data for Greece are until end of the day on June 7th. For Greece, data from 1 May onward are from the Coast Guard only and do not include detections by the Police. Data for Spain an estimate pending government confirmation.
Data on deaths of migrants compiled by RES. All numbers are minimum estimates.