In 2009, 776,000 persons acquired citizenship of an EU27 Member State. In 2008 it was 699,000 persons. The main contribution to this increase at EU level came from the United Kingdom and was a consequence of the unusually low number of citizenships that, for purely administrative reasons, the United Kingdom granted in 2008.
The new citizens in the EU27 in 2009 came mainly from Africa (29% of the total number of citizenships acquired), Asia (24%), non-EU27 Europe (22%), North and South America (15%) and Oceania (1%). Citizens of one EU27 Member State who acquired citizenship in another Member State accounted for 8% of the total.
These data on the acquisition of citizenship of the EU27 Member States are taken from a report2 issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
Highest number of citizenships granted per 100 resident foreigners in Portugal, Sweden, Poland and the United Kingdom
In 2009, the highest number of citizenships were granted by the United Kingdom (204,000 persons), France (136,000) and Germany (96,000), which together accounted for more than half of all citizenships granted by the EU27 Member States.
The number of citizenships granted can be related to the number of resident foreigners i.e. non-nationals resident in the Member State. The highest rates were registered in Portugal (5.8 citizenships granted per 100 resident foreigners), Sweden (5.3), Poland and the United Kingdom (both 4.8), and the lowest rates in the Czech Republic (0.3), Lithuania and Slovakia (both 0.5). On average, 2.4 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 (8.1 citizenships granted per 1,000 inhabitants), Cyprus (5.1), the United Kingdom (3.3) and Sweden (3.2). Eight 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.
Highest numbers of citizenships in the EU27 acquired by Moroccans, Turks, Indians and Ecuadorians
In 2009, the largest groups that acquired citizenship of an EU27 Member State were citizens of Morocco (59,900 persons), Turkey (51,900), India (31,100), Ecuador (27,800) and Albania (26,700). Among the Member States with the highest total number of citizenships acquired, the largest groups in the United Kingdom were Indians (13% of total citizenships acquired) and Pakistanis (10%), in France, they were Moroccans (19% of total citizenships acquired) and Algerians (15%) and in Germany, it was Turks (26%).
In some Member States, a large part of the citizenships was granted to citizens from only one country. The Member States with the highest concentrations were Greece (84% from Albania), Romania (67% from Moldova) and Hungary (66% from Romania). In Latvia and Estonia, 96% and 93% respectively of the new citizens were recognised non-citizens.