Migrant flow into Sweden drops after border checks brought back

Migrants arrive on a rubber dinghy on the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey on November 21, 2015 (AFP Photo/Bulent Kilic)

Stockholm (AFP) - The number of new migrant arrivals in Sweden has dropped by a third since it reinstated border controls earlier this month, the country's migration agency said Saturday.

"The number of (new) asylum seekers has decreased from 1,500 a day to some 900 since border controls were reintroduced" on November 12, the Swedish Migration Agency said in a statement.

Worsening weather conditions may have also contributed to the decline, it added.

Short-staffed authorities still face a backlog of applications submitted before the controls were reintroduced, the agency said.

The restrictions are likely to be extended to December 11, the interior ministry has said.

Long a preferred destination for people fleeing war and poverty, Sweden like several other EU countries reinstated border controls in a bid to gain control over the unprecedented influx.

A country of 9.8 million people, Sweden has taken in more refugees as a proportion of its population than any other country in Europe.