Time.news – In 2019, around 706,400 people acquired citizenship of an EU member state they lived in, compared to 672,300 in 2018 and 700,600 in 2017. This information comes from data on the acquisition and loss of citizenship published today by Eurostat .
Most of the new citizenships were granted by Germany (132,000, 19% of the EU total), Italy (127,000, 18%), France (109,800, 16%), Spain (99,000, 14%) and Sweden (64,200, 9%) representing 75% of new citizenships granted in the EU in 2019.
Italy is above the EU average for the 2.54% naturalization rate compared to 2%. The naturalization rate is the ratio between the number of people who have acquired citizenship of a country in the space of a year compared to the total of foreigners residing in the same country. In 2019, the highest naturalization rates were recorded in Sweden (7.0 citizenships granted per 100 resident foreigners), Romania (4.7) and Portugal (4.4), followed by Finland (3.8), countries Netherlands (3.2), Belgium (2.9) and Italy (2.5%).
The main recipients were Moroccan, Albanian and British. In 2019, Moroccans were the largest group among new EU citizens (66,800 people, of which 84% acquired Spanish, Italian or French citizenship), ahead of Albanians (41,700, 62% acquired the Italian citizenship), the British (29,800, 75% acquired citizenship of Germany, Sweden or France), Syrians (29,100, 69% acquired citizenship of Sweden), Turks (28,600, 57% acquired German citizenship), Romanians (26,600, 60% acquired citizenship of Italy or Germany), Brazilians (23500, 73% acquired Italian or Portuguese citizenship).
Compared to 2018, Moroccans and Albanians remained the main recipients, while the British moved from seventh to third place. Romanians (26,600 people), Poles (12,600) and Italians (8,700) remained the three largest groups of EU citizens who acquired citizenship of another EU member state, as in 2018.