Moroccans top list of recipients of EU citizenship

Moroccans topped the list of nationals who acquired the citizenship of a European country in 2015, according to figures published by Eurostat on Friday.

“The largest group acquiring citizenship of an EU Member State in 2015 was citizens of Morocco (86,100 persons, of whom 88% acquired citizenship of Italy, Spain or France), ahead of citizens of Albania (48,400, 96% acquired citizenship of Italy or Greece), Turkey (35,000, 56% acquired German citizenship)” the report said.

Other nationals in the top 7 of the ranking are India (31,000, almost 60% acquired British citizenship), Romania (28,400, half acquired Italian citizenship), Pakistan (26, 300, half acquired British citizenship) and Algeria (22 500, over three-quarters acquired French citizenship).

One in every 5 persons who acquired an EU citizenship in 2015 became citizens of Italy (178,000 persons, or 21% of all citizenships granted in the EU in 2015). It was followed by the United Kingdom (118,000 or 14%), Spain (114,400 or 14%), France (113 600 or 14%) and Germany (110,100 or 13%).

When compared with the total resident population of each Member State, the highest numbers of citizenship granted per 1,000 resident population were recorded in Luxembourg (5.6 citizenships granted) and Sweden (5.0), ahead of Cyprus (3.9), Italy and Ireland (both 2.9).

The European statistical organisation said about 840,000 persons obtained the nationality of an EU member state in 2015, compared to 890,000 in 2014 and 980,000 in 213.

From 2010-2015, more than 5 million persons in total were granted a citizenship of an EU Member Sate.

Of the total number of persons obtaining the citizenship of one of the EU Member States in 2015, 87% were non-EU citizens.

Romanians (28,400 persons) and Poles (17,800) were the two largest groups of EU citizens acquiring citizenship of another EU member state, Eurostat revealed in the report.

Femi Awoniyi

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