EU Member States granted citizenship to 696 000 persons

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EU Member States granted citizenship to 696 000 personsIn 2008, 696 000 persons acquired citizenship of an EU27 Member State, compared with 707 000 in 2007. The new citizens in 2008 came mainly from Africa (29% of the total number of citizenships acquired), non-EU27 Europe (22%), Asia (19%) and North and South America (17%). Citizens of one EU27 Member State who acquired citizenship in another Member State accounted for 8% of the total.

Highest number of citizenships per resident foreigner granted in Sweden and Portugal

In 2008, the highest number of citizenships were granted by France (137 000 persons), the United Kingdom (129 000) and Germany (94 000), which together accounted for over 50% of all citizenships granted by the EU27 Member States. Malta stood at 640. The number of citizenships granted can be related to the number of resident foreigners i.e. non-nationals resident in the Member State. The highest rates were registered in Sweden (54 citizenships granted per 1 000 resident foreigners), Portugal (51), Poland (48), Finland (47) and Hungary (43), and the lowest rates in the Czech Republic (3), Ireland and Luxembourg (both 6). Malta stood at 36. The EU27 average was 23 citizenships granted per 1 000 resident foreigners.

When compared with the population of each Member State, the highest rates of citizenship granted were recorded in Sweden (3.3 citizenships granted per 1 000 inhabitants), Luxembourg (2.5), France, Portugal and the United Kingdom (all 2.1). Malta stood at 1.6. Ten Member States granted less than one citizenship per 1 000 inhabitants, with the lowest rate observed in Poland, followed by the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Slovakia. The EU27 average was 1.4 citizenships granted per 1 000 inhabitants.

Most citizenships in the EU27 acquired by Moroccans, Turks and Ecuadorians

In 2008, the largest groups that acquired citizenship of an EU27 Member State were citizens of Morocco (64 000 persons), Turkey (50 000), Ecuador (27 000), Algeria (23 000) and Iraq (20 000). France granted 45% of all the citizenships acquired in the EU27 by Moroccans, Germany 49% of those acquired by Turks, Spain 93% of those acquired by Ecuadorians, France 88% of those acquired by Algerians and the United Kingdom 44% of those acquired by Iraqis.

In some Member States, a large part of the citizenships was granted to citizens from only one country. The Member States with the highest concentrations were Romania (89% of the new citizens had been citizens of Moldova), Hungary (68% came from Romania), Greece (59% from Albania) and Bulgaria (51% from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia). In Latvia and Estonia, 96% and 92% respectively of the new citizens were recognised non-citizens.

These data on the acquisition of citizenship of the EU27 Member States were taken from a report issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

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