Citizenship in EU countries was granted to more than 800,000 people in 2017, most of whom were Moroccans, Albanians, and Indians.
The figure represents a near-10% decrease compared to 2016 when the total number was nearly approaching 1 million. 17% of the new citizens consist of people who used to be an EU citizen, but the overall majority of those who received a passport from a European Union country were non-EU citizens and stateless persons.
The leading non-EU nationalities who acquired European citizenship are Morocco, Albania, India, Turkey, India, Pakistan, and Brazil.
From within the EU, 25,000 Romanians became Italian citizens. Romania was the largest recipient of a second EU citizenship after 25,000 Romanians became Italian passport holders. They were followed by Poles and Britons, who also acquired the citizenship of another EU country in large numbers in 2017. This was particularly significant for British citizens. The number of UK passport holders who acquired the citizenship of another European Union member dramatically increased in 2017 following the Brexit vote.
Compared to 2016, the largest increases in granting citizenship were registered in Romania, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Malta, and Finland, while Croatia, Spain, Denmark, and Estonia saw their numbers dramatically drop.
Sweden and Romania scored the highest rates in conferring citizenships through naturalisation, which is the granting of citizenship to a foreign-born citizen.
In 2017, the highest naturalisation rates were seen in Sweden and Romania; followed by Finland, Portugal, Greece, and Cyprus. At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest rates were recorded in Estonia, Latvia and Austria.