A TOTAL of 4,612 people had arrived in Spain irregularly by the end of January, more than double the amount at the same time last year according to government data.
Interior Ministry figures showed that 4,104 migrants arrived in 98 boats, compared with 1,396 people in 60 vessels in January 2018. This January’s figure is almost three times higher than that of the same time last year.
Arrivals by sea were concentrated largely on the coast of the mainland and on that of the Balearic Islands. They saw a combined total of 3,994 arrivals in 89 boats last month.
The number of migrants arriving in Spain by land dropped by 35 per cent compared to last year. The total stood at 508 at the end of last month compared to 782 in January 2018.
The Interior Ministry figures come as data from the UN’s International Organisation for Migration (IOM) showed that Spain is now the leading point of entry for migrants coming to Europe.
Italy and Greece, the other two leading entry points, saw sea arrivals of 202 and 1,839 respectively last month.
Migrants from the Middle East and North and West Africa continue to journey to Europe to flee poverty, war and persecution in their home countries.