72% of the Migrants Fleeing to Europe are Adult Men, According to the UN

By Published on September 9, 2015

Most of the migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea on their way to Europe are adult men, according to the United Nations.

The number of migrants attempting the dangerous crossing has soared in the past two years, from about 22,000 in 2013 to about 380,000 so far this year. Seventy-two percent of them are adult men, while just 13 percent are women and 15 percent are children, the U.N. has calculated, based on reports from governments and the media.

A heartbreaking photo of a drowned Syrian toddler face-down on the shore of a Turkish beach resort brought renewed attention to the migrant wave last week. Follow-up reports revealed the boy’s father may have attempted the crossing with the boy and his wife — who also drowned — because he wanted to fix his teeth. They had been safely living in Turkey for at least a year.

Thousands more residents were inspired to flee North Africa and the Middle East for Europe this week, after Germany welcomed a wave of Syrian migrants with open arms over the weekend.

Many who left families behind have called or messaged them and urged them to make the journey, in light of Europe’s welcome. It’s unclear how long the welcome will last. Germany expects about 800,000 per year for the next several years, primarily from war-torn Syria, and is urging other European countries to share the burden.

Of the more than 300,000 who have tried to cross the Mediterranean in 2015, the U.N. reports 2,850 are dead or missing. Most of them are from Syria (53 percent) and Afghanistan (14 percent), as well as Eritrea (7 percent), Nigeria (3 percent) and Pakistan (3 percent).


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