The European Union is struggling with the gravest crisis since its founding. Opinions differ not only about what to do but on the scope and nature of the challenge. Where to get information? PWN looks at data sources for analyzing - or at least trying to understand - the European refugee crisis. Number 1: EUROSTAT
What is EUROSTAT? It's the EU's official statistical office. It's mission? "to be the leading provider of high quality statistics on Europe."
Countries collect and verify the data before sending it to Eurostat which consolidates it using normalized methodology. Is it a reliable source of information for what's happening in Europe? Yes, as reliable as the data provided by the member countries.
Eurostat publishes data on many subjects: demographics, economics, industry, trade and much more (see list here). Among its publications are detailed data on asylum applicants to EU countries. The data is presented and graphed. Some of it can be downloaded directly into Excel files. Anyone who wants to report on the refugee/asylum/migrant/immigration question can only improve the accuracy of their reporting by consulting the data of Eurostat.
The American press, in particular, has a sloppy habit of talking about Europe as if it's one homogenized place - which anyone who lives in an actual European country knows is not true.
With Eurostat data, a curious journalist (or citizen) can see not only the global stats, but specifically what is happening in each of the individual countries (spoiler alert: the structure of immigration/asylum in Italy is completely different from that in Germany).
The Eurostat reports on Asylum requests are updated quarterly. This means it's possible to get up-to-date stats as the situation evolves. Compare this to oft-cited census information which is ten years old and pretty much useless in describing the current situation. (How many times have I read articles in the "best publications" that rely on data collected from long before this crisis began!)