EU countries granted citizenship to close to a million people in 2022

In 2022, a total of 989 000 people acquired the citizenship of the European Union country where they lived, an increase of about 20 per cent (163 100 people) compared with 2021, EU statistics agency Eurostat said on February 29.

Most of the new citizenships (in absolute numbers) were granted by Italy (213 700; 22 per cent of the EU total). Spain (181 800; 18 per cent of the EU total) and Germany (166 600; 17 per cent) granted the second and third highest numbers of new citizenships, Eurostat said.

The largest increases in citizenships granted to non-national residents in 2022, when compared with 2021, were recorded in Italy (+92 200), Spain (+37 600), and Germany (+36 600). At the other end of the scale, the largest decreases were noted in France (-15 900), the Netherlands (-9 300), and Portugal (-3 700).

Data show that 87 per cent of all those granted an EU citizenship of the country where they lived were citizens of a non-EU country. Citizens of another EU country than the country of residence accounted for 12 per cent. The rest had either an unknown previous citizenship (1 per cent) or were stateless (0.7 per cent).

In 2022, Moroccan residents were the largest group of new EU citizens, with a total of 112 700 citizenship status granted. The second largest group were Syrian nationals with 90 400 granted citizenship, followed by Albanians with 50 300 being granted citizenship.

The naturalisation rate is the ratio of the number of persons who acquired the citizenship of a country where they were living during a year over the stock of non-national residents in the same country at the beginning of the year.

In 2022, Romania recorded the highest naturalisation rate among EU countries, with 26.8 citizenships granted per 100 non-national residents. Sweden stood at 10.6, followed by the Netherlands at 4.4 and Italy at 4.2.

At the other end of the scale, the lowest naturalisation rates per 100 non-national residents were recorded in Latvia and Estonia (both 0.4), Austria and Bulgaria (both 0.7), and Malta and Czechia (both 0.8), Eurostat said.

(Photo: Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry)

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