The naturalisation rate is the ratio of the number of persons 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 2017, the highest naturalisation rates were registered in Sweden (8.2 citizenships granted per 100 resident foreigners), Romania (5.9) and Finland (5.0), followed by Portugal (4.5), Greece (4.2) and Cyprus (3.9).
At the opposite end of the scale, naturalisation rates below 1 citizenship acquisition per 100 resident foreigners were recorded in Estonia (0.4), Latvia (0.6), Austria and Czechia (both 0.7), Slovakia and Lithuania (both 0.9).
In 2017, around 825,000 persons acquired citizenship of an EU Member State down from 995,000 in 2016 and 841 000 in 2015, according to data released by Eurostat.
Of the total number of persons obtaining citizenship in an EU Member States in 2017, 17% were former citizens of another EU Member State, while the majority were non-EU citizens or stateless.
In Cyprus 5,517 individuals obtained the republic’s citizenship, an 18% increase on 2016. Some 23.8% of them were Russians, 9.1% were UK citizens and 8.7% Ukrainian.
In Greece 34,305 individuals obtained citizenship, a 3% increase since 2016 (Albanians 86.8%, Ukrainians 1.3% and Moldovans 1.1%).
The largest group acquiring citizenship of an EU Member State where they lived in 2017 was citizens of Morocco (67,900 persons, of whom 83% acquired citizenship of Italy, Spain or France), ahead of citizens of Albania (58,900, 97% acquired citizenship of Greece or Italy), India (31,600, over 53% acquired British citizenship), Turkey (29 900, over 50% acquired German citizenship), Romania (25,000, 32% acquired Italian citizenship), Pakistan (23,100, 45% acquired citizenship of the UK), Poland (22,000, 63% acquired citizenship of the UK or Germany), and Brazil (21,600, 74% acquired citizenship of Italy or Portugal).
Moroccans, Albanians, Indians, Turks, Romanians, Pakistanis, Poles and Brazilians represented together about a third (34%) of the total number of persons who acquired citizenship of an EU Member State in 2017.
Romanians (25,000 persons), Poles (22,000) and Britons (15,000) were the three largest groups of EU citizens acquiring citizenship of another EU Member State.
Source: Financial Mirror