A November update on 2016 migration statistics from the Italian Ministry of Interior finds the number of Nigerian migrants has nearly doubled on the Mediterranean crossing route since October 2015.
Of the 168,542 migrants arriving in Italy – a 17 percent increase over last year – the largest number came from Nigeria, with 33,806 crossings. Sharp increases also were seen in migrants coming from the West African nations of Guinea, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and The Gambia.
The number of migrants coming from Eritrea and Somalia is down, while Sudanese traffic stayed the same.
In a separate finding, the latest survey of migrants within Libya finds that while most of them coming from regional countries like Egypt and Sudan say they hope to stay in Libya, Europe remains the destination hope for many Nigerian migrants.
The majority of the migrants were from three Libyan border countries, while the fourth-largest group were Nigerians, the International Organization for Migration said. The Flow Monitoring Analytical Report presents the results of surveys conducted with 1,946 migrants across nine migrant flow locations in Libya.
The demographic profile from the September and October interviews found migrants to be almost exclusively men with an average age of 29. Among them, it’s 88 percent who say that economic opportunity is the main driver in choosing a country of destination.
Only 21 percent of all respondents were working in their home countries, despite varying degrees of education and vocational skills, researchers said.