Which EU state welcomed the most new citizens in 2011?

EU27 member states granted citizenship to around 780,000 persons in 2011

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Matthew Vella
27 November 2013, 12:00am
DATA

New citizenships in the EU - whether by naturalisation, or registration of spouses, minors adopted by nationals, or descendants of nationals born abroad returning to the country of origin of their ancestors - were mainly concentrated in the Western part of the EU, but in 2011 this was marked by a decline of 4% compared to the previous year.

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 (177,600 persons, -9% compared with 2010), France (114,600, -20%), Spain (114,600, -7%) and Italy (56,200, -15%), while only Germany (109,600, +5%) registered an increase. These five countries together still accounted for almost three quarters of all citizenships granted by the EU27 Member States.

There was a slight predominance of women (52%) in 2011. The median age of persons granted citizenship was 32.5 years, with almost a third aged less than 25 years and nearly half aged 25 to 44, while those aged 55 or over accounted for less than 7%.

These data come from a report issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

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.

Almost a quarter of new EU citizens were Moroccans, Turks, Ecuadorians or Indians

The new citizens in the EU27 in 2011 came mainly from Africa (26% of the total number of citizenships acquired), Asia (23%), non-EU27 Europe (19%), North and South America (17%) or another EU27 Member State (11%).

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).



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Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.