State of the Nation: the UK asylum system

The latest data on the asylum and modern slavery systems in the UK. 

The British Red Cross’ State of the Nation report on the UK asylum system brings together the latest data on the asylum and modern slavery systems.

It covers who is claiming asylum in the UK, how they are arriving, how they are being supported while they wait for a decision and who is being granted protection. It also presents data on survivors of modern slavery in the UK.

The tool has been updated with Home Office data from November 23, 2023.

Arrow icon Read the report

Arrow icon Facts at a glance

A man sits in conversation with another man, who has his back to the camera

The latest facts and figures about refugees in the UK

To help separate fact from fiction, it makes up-to-date facts and figures on the asylum system more accessible to everyone including journalists, researchers, the refugee, asylum and anti-trafficking sectors, and the public. 

By visualising data in a way that is easier to understand, the report will be a useful tool in supporting evidence-based policy change and properly informed debates by addressing misinformation so that the UK asylum and modern slavery systems can provide protection to those who need it. 

The British Red Cross is the largest independent provider of support to people seeking asylum, refugees and survivors of trafficking in the UK. We provide emergency help, one-to-one support and casework, and special services for children and families all across the country. You can see data in the report on the support we have provided in the last 12 months.

We'll update the report quarterly with the latest data.

Facts at a glance

  • People seeking asylum made up less than 7 per cent of the 1.16 million people migrating to the UK in 2022.
  • In the year reported until the end of June 2023, 97,390 people applied for asylum in the UK. In the same period, 905 people were resettled here safely.
  • 4,671 family reunion visas were granted over the last year. This is the lowest number of visas granted in a 12-month period since 2014.
  • The asylum backlog is 175,457, the highest recorded and a 450 per cent increase in the last five years.
  • In 2014, nearly 9 in 10 people who applied for asylum received a decision within six months. At the end of 2022, just over 1 in 10 did. In June 2023, 80 per cent of the people in the asylum backlog have been waiting more than six months for an initial decision.
  • In the last year, 38 per cent of asylum claims were withdrawn. This is a 308 per cent increase since 2022.
  • In the last year, the British Red Cross refugee support teams have supported 5,874 main applicants experiencing destitution. Including dependents, we have supported 10,226 people.

Sources: UNHCR Global Trends 2022, Home Office, ONS. All stats are for the year ending June 2023 unless stated otherwise.

About this report

Hosted on Flourish, this report includes a series of interactive charts on various parts of the UK asylum system, pulling together publicly available data in one place and presenting it in an accessible way. 

If you would like to know more about this or see the underlying data, please contact

For media enquiries, please contact and 020 7877 7557.