The UK accepted a fifth of the Western world's asylum seekers in 2002, making the island the No1 destination for immigrants.
The Trends in International Migration report for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found Britain accepted a total of 110,700 asylum seekers, more than the US and nearly as many as France and Germany put together.
The report said Britain welcomed 20.3 per cent more asylum seekers in 2002 year-on-year.
Second to the UK, the US accepted 81,100 asylum seekers. Germany was third with 71,100 and France was fourth with 51,100.
Europe as a whole took on 382,600. But in Germany, Australia, the Netherlands and Belgium, the numbers of applicants dropped significantly following the implementation of tough new asylum policies.
The Home Office said the figures were out of date - collated before the Nationality and Immigration Act became law - and said over the last year the number of asylum seekers had halved.