US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — In 2018, fewer people acquired citizenship of a European Union country than in previous years. A total of 672,300 people were naturalized in one of the 27 EU countries, according to the EU statistics agency Eurostat.
In the previous year there were 700,600 new citizens, in 2016 even 843,900. The number of new EU citizens continues to decline.
According to provisional figures, 116,750 people acquired German citizenship in 2018.
That was a good 1,300 more than in the previous year. In terms of the naturalization rate – i.e. the ratio of the number of new citizens to foreigners who lived in the country at the beginning of the year – Germany was in 19th place with a value of around 1.2 percent in the EU. Sweden has the highest naturalization rate 7.2 percent, followed by Romania (5.6 percent) and Portugal (5.06 percent).
Most new EU citizens came from Morocco in 2018 (67,200). 85 percent of them acquired citizenship from Spain, Italy or Portugal. The second largest group came from Albania (47,400) and 97 percent were naturalized in Greece or Italy.
28,400 people acquired the citizenship of an EU country from Turkey – almost two thirds of them German (14,973). In Germany, Turks made up the largest group of new citizens (14 percent), followed by British (5.4) and Poland (5.3). Just over one in ten (13 percent) of the new EU citizens were previously citizens of another EU country.
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