Eurostat: 1818 Bulgarians were granted UK citizenship in 2017

A total of 1818 Bulgarians acquired British citizenship in 2017, European Union statistics agency Eurostat said on July 23.

The number was significantly up from 2015, when it was 994, and 2016, a total of 1246.

In contrast, of the 914 people to whom Bulgarian citizenship was granted in 2017, a total of one was from the UK. That was, however, an increase. In 2015 and 2016, the number of Brits granted Bulgarian citizenship was zero, according to Eurostat.

In 2017 – the year after the UK voted for Brexit – Bulgaria was by far not the largest source of people who acquired British citizenship. In top spot was India (16 600), followed by Pakistan (10 390), with Poland, at 7119, the only fellow EU country in the top three.

That year, Bulgarians who were granted British citizenship were outnumbered by people from, among other places, Nigeria (6945), Italy (3516), the United States (3183), South Africa (3103), Romania (3022), Zimbabwe (2850), France (2824) and Germany (2636).

Eurostat’s figures showed that thousands of Bulgarians acquired citizenship of another European country in 2017.

For instance, a total of 1760 acquired citizenship of Germany, 655 of Belgium, 47 of the Czech Republic, 60 of Ireland, 329 of Greece, 265 of Spain, 334 of France, 535 of Italy, 91 of Cyprus, 17 of Luxembourg, eight of Hungary, 13 of Malta, 116 of the Netherlands, 140 of Austria, 18 of Poland, 64 of Portugal, three of Slovakia, 74 of Finland, 329 of Sweden, two of Iceland, 73 of Norway and 133 of Switzerland.

Of the Bulgarian citizenships granted in 2017, the largest numbers were to people from Ukraine (22.3 per cent), followed by Russians (19 per cent) and people from Turkey (12 per cent), Eurostat said.

(Photo: Phillip Bramble/



The Sofia Globe staff

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