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  • The total number of migrant children in the EU was estimated at 6.9 million in 2018 with about 2.6 million EU citizens that live in another Member State and about 4.3 million non-EU nationals.
  • Stocks of migrant children from intra-EU migration have increased by about 32 per cent between 2014 and 2018 while those of non-EU migrants have increased only by about 17 per cent.
  • Syria and Morocco lead the list of countries of origin for non-EU migrant children with around 400 000 persons aged 0 to 19 each in 2018 in EU-21. Romania and Poland hold the same position for intra-EU migration, with Romania at estimated 986 000 persons (592 000 in EU-21) and Poland at estimated 400 000 (240.000 in EU-21). Together, this represents 45 per cent of all intra-EU migration in that particular age group.
  • Numbers of asylum-seeking children dropped from almost 400 000 in 2016 to 185 000 in 2018. The vast majority of asylum seeking children that arrived between 2015 and 2017 came from either Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq (60 per cent), or from the Balkans and Eastern Europe (15 per cent).
  • In the peak period of 2015 to 2016, Sweden, Austria, Hungary and Germany (in this order) received the highest number of children in relation to their own citizens of the same age group.
  • 26 EU countries employ some form of immigration detention of children. There is no single consistent trend in immigration detention of children across European countries. The practice has been decreasing in some while growing in others.

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