Ukrainians, Moldovans and Macedonians top charts in getting Bulgarian citizenship

Bulgaria granted citizenship to 808 people in 2013, with people from Ukraine accounting for the largest number, going by figures released by Eurostat on July 1 2015.

Eurostat said that 94 per cent of those given Bulgarian citizenship in 2013 were non-EU citizenships.

The figures listed only the top three nationalities of people granted Bulgarian citizenship: Ukraine, (16.6 per cent), Moldova (16.3 per cent) and Macedonia (15.9 per cent).

In 2013, about 985 000 people acquired citizenship of a member state of the European Union (EU), up by 20 per cent (or about 163 000 people) compared with 2012.

Of the total number of people obtaining the citizenship of one of the EU Member States in 2013, 89 per cent were citizens of non-EU countries.

The largest groups acquiring citizenship of an EU member state in 2013 were citizens of Morocco (86 500 people, of which 84 per cent acquired citizenship of Spain, Italy or France), India (48 300, three-quarters acquired British citizenship), Turkey (46 500, 60 per cent acquired German citizenship), Colombia (42 000, 93 per cent acquired Spanish citizenship), Albania (41 700, 95 per cent acquired citizenship of Greece or Italy) and Ecuador (40 400, 95 per cent acquired Spanish citizenship).

Moroccans, Indians, Turks, Colombians, Albanians and Ecuadorians represented together almost a third (31 per cent) of the total number of people who acquired EU citizenship in 2013.

Romanians (23 000 people) and Poles (18 000) were the two largest groups of EU citizens acquiring citizenship of another EU Member State.

In 12 EU member states, at least nine people out of every 10 who obtained citizenship in 2013 were citizens of a non-EU country: Estonia (100 per cent), Latvia and Romania (both 99 per cent), Greece and Lithuania (both 97 per cent), Spain and Portugal (both 96 per cent), Bulgaria (94 per cent), Ireland and Italy (both 93 per cent), the United Kingdom (91 per cent) and Croatia (90 per cent).

In contrast, Luxembourg (81 per cent) and Hungary (80 per cent) were the only member states where the majority of people acquiring citizenship in 2013 were citizens of another EU member state.

At EU level, 89 per cent (or 871 300 new citizens) of those granted citizenship were citizens of a non-EU country, and 10 per cent (98 500) of another EU member state.

The highest naturalisation rates were in Sweden, Hungary and Portugal.

The naturalisation rate is the ratio of the number of people who acquired the citizenship of a country during a year over the stock of foreign residents in the same country at the beginning of the year.

In 2013, the highest naturalisation rates were registered in Sweden (7.6 citizenships granted per 100 resident foreigners), Hungary (6.5) and Portugal (5.9), and the lowest in Slovakia (0.3), the Czech Republic and Denmark (both 0.5).

On average, 2.9 citizenships were granted per 100 resident foreigners in the EU.

Of the five EU member states that granted the most citizenships in 2013, the naturalisation rate was above the EU average in Spain (4.5) and the United Kingdom (4.2), while below the EU average in France (2.4), Italy (2.3) and Germany (1.5).

Almost half of all people who acquired an EU citizenship in 2013 became citizens of either Spain (225 800 people, or 23 per cent of all citizenships granted in the EU in 2013) or the United Kingdom (207 500 or 21 per cent).

When compared with the total population of each member state, the highest rates of citizenship granted were recorded in Ireland (5.3 citizenships granted per 1 000 resident population), Sweden (5.2), Spain (4.8) and Luxembourg (4.7). On average, 1.9 citizenships were granted per 1 000 inhabitants in the EU.

(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)



The Sofia Globe staff

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