October's migrant, refugee flow to Europe roughly matched whole of 2014

October's Migrant Flow to Europe Roughly Matched Whole of 2014

The number of migrants and refugees entering Europe by sea last month was roughly the same as that for the whole of 2014, United Nations refugee agency UNHCR said on Monday.

The monthly record of 218,394 also outstripped September's 172,843, UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards said.

SEE ALSO: This map shows how large Europe's refugee crisis really is

"That makes it the highest total for any month to date and roughly the same as the entire total for 2014," he said. The UNHCR puts 2014 arrivals by sea at about 219,000.

At the peak, 10,006 arrived in Greece's shores on a single day, Oct. 20. The vast majority of refugees and migrants to Europe have traveled via Turkey to Greece, a switch from the previously more popular African route via Libya to Italy.

See Syrian refugees as they arrive in Europe:

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General migrant crisis - Syrian refugees, entering all European countries
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October's migrant, refugee flow to Europe roughly matched whole of 2014
Migrant and refugee children lie on the ground during a demonstration to protest against Turkish police blocking the access to the road and the ticket office for the Turkey-Greece border towns on September 15, 2015 at Istanbul's Esenler Bus Terminal. Over half a million migrants have crossed the European Union's border so far this year, up from 280,000 in 2014, the bloc's Frontex border agency said on September 15, 2015 -- but warned some people may have been counted twice. AFP PHOTO / YASIN AKGUL (Photo credit should read YASIN AKGUL/AFP/Getty Images)
ROSZKE, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 13: A young boy wraps up to keep warm as migrants wake up to a cold morning at the Hungarian border with Serbia on September 13, 2015 in Roszke, Hungary. A record number of 4,000 people crossed the Hungarian border with Serbia yesterday. Migrants are rushing to the border due to fears that the borders will soon close before the official closure of midnight on Monday, September 14th. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called 'Balkans route' has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The number of people leaving their homes in war torn countries such as Syria, marks the largest migration of people since World War II. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
SANLIURFA, TURKEY - OCTOBER 28: (TURKEY OUT) Kurdish refugee children from the Syrian town of Kobani look on near makeshift tents in a camp in the southeastern town of Suruc, Sanliurfa province October 28, 2014. Kurdish fighters, supported by US-led air strikes, have fended off the Islamic State militants offensive into the besieged Syrian border town of Kobani for the last 44 days but remain ill equipped and short on ammunition. (Photo by Kutluhan Cucel/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - JULY 02: Mother of Syrian child refugee 8-year-old Ahmet Kedru, with partial thickness burns on the face, Aisha Kedru weeps as her son demands support for an aesthetic surgery from Turkish doctors to return to the old days on July 02, 2015 in Aleppo's district Azaz. When Ahmet and his family members were inside of a tent that they take shelter in at Azaz district, the tent is burned out. Fire damaged both him and his mother. (Photo by Kerem Kocalar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Syrian refugees wait for transportation after crossing into Turkey from the Syrian town of Tal Abyad, near Akcakale in Sanliurfa province, on June 10, 2015. Thousands of people crossed from Syria into Turkey on June 10 to flee a battle pitting Islamist insurgents against Kurdish and opposition forces for the Syrian border town of Tel Abyad. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
SANLIURFA, TURKEY - JUNE 06: A Turkish soldier carries a Syrian girl as she crosses into Turkey with her family from the borderline in Akcakale district of Sanliurfa on June 06, 2015. Hundreds of Syrians who fled from Syria after clashes between Syrian government forces and opponents in Rasulayn region of Al-Hasakah, have crossed into Turkey since Wednesday. (Photo by Halil Fidan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A Syrian refugee woman sits as a child sleeps near her early in the morning on Taksim Square, Istanbul, on May 26, 2015. Britain's David Cameron and Russia's Vladimir Putin have agreed to re-start talks on finding a solution to the crisis in Syria, a statement from Cameron said on May 25. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
A Syrian Kurdish boy peers as children take lessons on November 10, 2014 in a makeshift school tent in a refugee camp in the town of Suruc, Sanliurfa province. Turkey's maintained an 'open door' policy for all those fleeing Syria's civil war and there are now over 1.5 million Syrian refugees living in the country. More than 280,000 Syrian refugees are living in refugee camps, mostly in the southeast, according Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD). AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINI (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Kurdish people watch the Syrian town of Kobane, also known as Ain al-Arab, from the Turkish border in the southeastern village of Mursitpinar, Sanliurfa province, on October 18, 2014. Turkey is turning a deaf ear to insistent pressure to take a more pro-active stance in the fight against Islamic State (IS) jihadists, adding to existing strains with the West under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Western diplomats have repeatedly made clear they want to see the key NATO member play a key role in the coalition against the militants, who are battling for the Syrian town Kobane just a few kilometers from Turkey. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
A child cries as Syrian Kurdish people arrive after crossing the border between Syria and Turkey after several mortars hit both side in the southeastern town of Suruc, in the Sanliurfa province on September 29, 2014. Tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds flooded into Turkey fleeing an onslaught by the Islamic State (IS) group that prompted an appeal for international intervention. Some of the refugee now want to return to protect their homes and join the fight against IS militants. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
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The largest group by nationality are Syrians, accounting for 53 percent of arrivals, as a result of the civil war that has driven hundreds of thousands from their homes. Afghans come second, making up 18 percent of the total.

The flow of refugees into Europe, however, is still dwarfed by the numbers in Syria's neighbors. Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan have Syrian refugee numbers exceeding 2 million, 1 million and 600,000 respectively.

Globally, 60 million people are refugees or displaced within their own country, not counting economic migrants.

UNHCR said in October that it was planning for up to 700,000 refugees in Europe this year and a similar or greater number in 2016.

But that plan has already been eclipsed, with 744,000 arriving so far. Some 3,440 are estimated to have died or gone missing in the attempt to escape to Europe.

"Certainly in 2016, we have to expect this level of arrivals to continue, and that's because the facts that are causing people to move aren't going away," said Edwards.

"It is the new reality that we all have to deal with."

Learn how you can help refugees:

How Can You Help the Refugees in Europe?

Migration experts had expected the number of people making the hazardous journey by sea to dwindle as winter approached, but the boats have continued to arrive.

"We hope that there will be some reductions in the number of people crossing this year, simply to help with the manageability of the situation, but unfortunately, the underlying causes that are making people move across the Mediterranean to Europe are still there," Edwards said.

The Greek coast guard said on Monday that four refugees drowned and another six were missing off the Greek island of Farmakonisi after their boat sank.

Four people were rescued. Eleven people, including six infants, drowned on Sunday when their boat capsized off the island of Samos, trapping them in the cabin.

(Reporting by Tom Miles and Marina Depetris; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

See thousands protest against the refugees in Germany:

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NTP: Thousands rally at German protest against refugees, Islam
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October's migrant, refugee flow to Europe roughly matched whole of 2014
DRESDEN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 12 : Thousands of Pegida (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West) supporters demonstrate on Theaterplatz square in Dresden, Germany on 12 October 2015. (Photo by Mehmet Kaman/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 12 : Thousands of Pegida (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West) supporters demonstrate on Theaterplatz square in Dresden, Germany on 12 October 2015. (Photo by Mehmet Kaman/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 12 : Thousands of Pegida (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West) supporters demonstrate on Theaterplatz square in Dresden, Germany on 12 October 2015. (Photo by Mehmet Kaman/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 12 : Thousands of Pegida (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West) supporters demonstrate on Theaterplatz square in Dresden, Germany on 12 October 2015. (Photo by Mehmet Kaman/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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