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Europe: 865 476 third country nationals acquired an EU citizenship in 2016

Eurostat's latest Statistics Explained update on naturalisation reveals that in 2016, 994 800 people obtained citizenship of an EU-28 Member State. 87 % of these new citizens had previously been nationals of non-EU countries, with Morocco Albania, India, Pakistan and Turkey as the top 5 of countries of origin. 

Overall naturalisation increased by 18 % compared with 2015 and 2.7 foreigners per hundred nationals were granted citizenship. The country with the highest naturalisation rate was Croatia (9.7 per hundred), followed by Sweden (7.9) and Portugal (6.5). The lowest naturalisation rates were found in Austria, Latvia and Slovakia. Other countries with naturalisation rates under 1.0 were Estonia and Lithuania. Furthermore, 40 % of persons granted citizenship of an EU-28 country were younger than 25 years and around another 40 % aged 25 to 44, while those aged 55 or over accounted for less than 7 %.

This 18% increase occurred after two consecutive years of decrease. The main contribution to the increase at EU level came from Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy, Greece and Sweden.

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