VIENNA, March 29 (Xinhua) -- The number of asylum applications made in Austria has seen a sharp-58.5 percent decline in 2017, the interior ministry revealed in new statistics on Thursday.
The total 24,735 applications represent a significant slowing down from the much higher numbers that came on the back of the refugee waves into Europe in 2015 and 2016.
Syrian nationals made up the highest proportion of applicants, at 50 percent of the total, followed by Afghans on 15 percent. Both of these also had the highest approval rates for their applications, Syrians with 92 percent, and Afghans with 47 percent.
Pakistanis, Nigerians, Iraqis, and Russians made up the next-largest groups of applicants, on six percent each.
The ministry figures also noted that 51 percent of the applications processed last year were approved.