There are still thousands of refugees and migrants trying to enter Europe by sea. The Mediterranean Sea is one of the most preferred routes for refugees and migrants. The IOM (International Organization for Migration), the UN migration agency, has released a report about Mediterranean migrant arrivals. According to the report, which was posted on 06.10.2017, these arrivals tried to reach three countries: Italy, Greece, and Spain.
The report analyzes the period of January 1st to October 4th in the years 2016 and 2017. During this period in 2016, 312,153 migrants and refugees arrived in these three countries and 3,682 of them died while trying to arrive.
Greece was the preferred country for migrants and refugees in 2016, with 167,074 arrivals. 414 migrants also died while trying to enter Greece. Italy was the second most popular country among refugees and migrants. The number of arrivals to Italy in 2016 is close to that of Greece, with 139,289 arrivals and 3,152 deaths en route. Arrivals to Spain are limited compared to these two countries mentioned above. 5,445 migrants and refugees entered Spain and 116 of them lost their lives in 2016.
From the first of January to October 4th in 2017, the estimated total number of arrivals was 139,763 and the number of deaths was 2,726. The comparison of numerical data for refugees and migrants in 2016 and 2017 shows a change.
According to data posted by the IOM and UN migration agency in 2017, the country preferences of migrants and refugees had changed in one year. 106,889 of them had arrived Italy and 2,452 of them died. However, in 2017, the number of arrivals to Greece was not even close to the number of migrants and refugees who arrived Italy (The number of arrivals to Greece in 2017: 19,934, Deaths: 46). That means that arrivals refused to follow a safer route which goes to Greece because the number of deaths did not decrease with the same rate when compared with the reduction in the number of total estimated arrivals.
The number of migrants and refugees who preferred to enter Spain almost doubled in 2017 when compared with 2016 but still, it was very low (Arrivals to Spain in 2017: 12,122 Deaths: 138).