& Events

Acquisition of citizenship in the EU in decline

Dec 2, 2013 | News

(28 November 2013) – In 2011, 783 100 persons acquired citizenship of an EU27 Member State, down by 4% compared with 2010.

This decline, which occurred after three consecutive years of increase, is mainly due to the decreases recorded in four of the five largest countries in terms of granted citizenships: the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and Italy, while only Germany registered an increase. These five countries together still accounted for almost three quarters of all citizenships granted by the EU27 Member States.

The number of citizenships granted can be related to the number of resident foreigners i.e. non-nationals resident in the Member State. In 2011, the highest rates were registered in Hungary (9.8 citizenships granted per 100 resident foreigners), Poland (6.7), Sweden (5.8), Malta (5.3) and Portugal (5.2), and the lowest in the Czech Republic and Slovakia (both 0.4), Latvia (0.6), Estonia and Austria (both 0.7). On average, 2.3 citizenships were granted per 100 resident foreigners in the EU27.

When compared with the total population of each Member State, the highest rates of citizenship granted were recorded in Luxembourg (6.6 citizenships granted per 1 000 inhabitants), Sweden (3.9), the United Kingdom (2.8) and Belgium (2.7). Ten EU27 Member States granted less than one citizenship per 1 000 inhabitants. On average, 1.6 citizenships were granted per 1 000 inhabitants in the EU27.

In 2011, the largest groups that acquired citizenship of an EU27 Member State were citizens of Morocco (64 300 persons, of which 55% acquired citizenship of France or Spain), Turkey (48 900, 58% acquired German citizenship), Ecuador (33 700, 95 % acquired Spanish citizenship) and India (31 700, 83% acquired British citizenship). Moroccans, Turks, Ecuadorians and Indians represented together almost a quarter of the total number of persons that acquired EU citizenship in 2011. Romanians (26 000 persons) were the largest group of EU citizens acquiring citizenship of another EU Member State, followed by Poles (11 000), Italians (7 500) and Portuguese (6 900).

More information