Most asylum seekers do not come here – they stay in the first safe country they reach. The vast majority of refugees can be found in the developing world, accounting for 72% of the world’s estimated 12 million asylum seekers and refugees. Across the European Union, Germany takes more asylum seekers than the UK, while there are even more asylum seekers in less developed neighbouring countries like Turkey than in western Europe.
Research shows that most asylum seekers who do come to the UK have little choice in the matter – they are dependent on whoever arranges their escape for them. For those who do have a choice, the main reasons for coming to the UK are usually: some knowledge of English, having relatives or friends living in the country, and a belief that the UK is a safe, tolerant and democratic society.