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New Eurostat statistics on the acquisition of citizenship

According to Eurostat data extracted in May 2015, nearly one million people obtained citizenship of an EU-28 Member State in 2013, an increase of 20 % compared with 2012. This was mainly caused by increases in new countries of immigration, such as Spain (131,700 more), Italy (35,300) and Greece (9,200), as well as the United Kingdom (13,600).

An indicator commonly used to measure the effect of national policies on citizenship is the "naturalisation rate". In 2013, in the EU-28 as a whole, 2.9 per hundred non-national citizens were granted citizenship. The country with the highest naturalisation rate was Sweden (7.6 per hundred), followed by Hungary (6.5) and Portugal (5.9). The lowest naturalisation rates were found in Slovakia (0.3). Other countries with naturalisation rates under 1.0 were Denmark (0.5), the Czech Republic (0.5), Estonia (0.7), Austria (0.7), Lithuania (0.8), Cyprus (0.9) and Latvia (1.0).

About 89 % of these citizenship acquisitions concerned non-EU citizens; EU citizens only made up the majority of new citizens in Hungary (Romanians) and Luxembourg (Portuguese, Italians, neighbouring countries). The share of naturalised immigrants is one of the EU’s ‘Zaragoza’ indicators of immigrant integration.

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