Blog AnalysisBorders Immigration AsylumMediterranean sea

The migration goes west

(B2) The latest statistics prove it, the migratory flow has been drastically limited on the central route to Italy, which is no longer the major point of arrival today.

In 2017 most migrants (114.542 or 67%) took the central route to Italy, with significant risks (2831 deaths according to an IOM assessment, or a rate of 2,5%). 28.848 people (17%) passed via the Eastern route towards Greece and the Balkans, 27.253 people (16%) via the Western route towards Spain.

In 2018, the situation completely changed, the Western route to Spain concentrates the majority of migrants (42.470 people, 51% of migrations). The 'Eastern' route via Greece and the Balkans (24.537 people, 28%) is the second route. The central route to Italy remains in the minority today (18.322 people, 21%), it has therefore returned to a pace similar to that before the 2015-2016 crisis. This route, however, remains very risky with a mortality rate of almost 7% (1260 deaths as of October 5 according to an IOM estimate).

The new fact is the large flow of people coming from Tunisia, and no longer from Libya. About 4819 people - mainly Tunisians (91%) fleeing their country - are heading for the two main Italian islands in the Mediterranean: Sardinia and Sicily.

A road which also remains the deadliest with an estimate of 1260 dead (source OIM)


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).