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More Than One Million Migrants Enter EU In 2015

The number of refugees and migrants arriving by land and sea in the European Union has passed 1 million this year, while a further 3,600 died or went missing.

That according to data from the UN refugee agency and the International Organization for Migration.

In a joint statement on December 22, the two agencies said half of those arriving were Syrians fleeing the war, another 20 percent were Afghans, and 7 percent were Iraqis.

Out of a total of 1,005,504 arrivals to Greece, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, Malta and Cyprus by December 21, the vast majority -- 816,752 -- arrived by sea in Greece, the IOM said.

"We know migration is inevitable, it's necessary and it's desirable," IOM chief William Lacy Swing said in the statement.

The UN refugee agency UNHCR is planning for arrivals to continue at a similar rate in 2016, but IOM spokesman Joel Millman said it was impossible to forecast future numbers.

Based on reporting by AFP, dpa and Reuters