More than 58,000 arrived by sea last year, including 56,000 in Italy, half of them fleeing Tunisia. Malta saw 1,574 people and Greece 1,030 arrive by sea.
The popular rebellion in Tunisia and Libya forced more people to escape last year, including sub-Saharan migrants working in North Africa. After tighter border measures the influx in Europe in 2009 and 2010.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees Sybella Wilkes, said 2011 was the deadliest year for this region since UNHCR started to record these statistics in 2006.
It estimates people from 15 nations drowned or had gone missing trying to go across the Mediterranean.