Schengen Visa

Over 827,000 People Acquired Citizenship in EU Countries in 2021

Biometric passport and dummy figurine in front go EU flag.

A total of 827,000 people acquired citizenship in European Union countries in 2021, accounting for an increase of nearly 14 per cent (98,300 people more) in comparison to 2020 figures, the data provided by the European Office for Statistics, Eurostat, reveals.

The same confirms that the most significant surge in acquisitions was noted in the following five EU Member States during the same year:

  • France (43, 900 more French citizenships granted in comparison to 2020)
  • Germany (18, 800 more)
  • Spain (17, 700 more)
  • Sweden (9,200 more)
  • Austria (7,200 more)

On the other hand, the most profound decline was noted in Italy (10,300 fewer Italian citizenships granted compared to 2020), Portugal (7,600), Greece (3,200), Finland (1,200), and Cyprus (800).

In total, ten European Union countries experienced a decline in the number of citizenships granted, reports.

“As in 2020, the majority (85 per cent) of those who obtained citizenship of a European Union Member State in 2021 were previously citizens of a non-EU country or stateless. Citizens of another European Union country accounted for 13 per cent of the total number of citizenships acquired,” the statement of Eurostat reads.

The same revealed that on January 1, 2022, citizens of the European Union represented 94.6 per cent of the EU population.

According to Eurostat, citizens of Morocco, Syria, and Albania continued to remain the main recipients of EU citizenship in 2021.

“In 2021, similar to 2020, Moroccans were the largest group among new European Union citizens (86,200 people, of whom 71 per cent acquired citizenship of Spain or France), ahead of Syrians (83,500, 70 per cent acquired citizenship of Sweden or Netherlands), as well as Albanians (32,300, 70 per cent acquired citizenship of Italy),” the statement reads.

The same noted that Romanians (28,600), Turks (25,700), Brazilians (20,400), Algerians (19,300), Ukrainians (18,200), Russians (17,300), and Pakistanis (16,600) were also included in the top ten list of recipients of EU citizenship.

Authorities in Spain granted the highest number of new citizenships in 2021 (144,000 or 17 per cent of EU total), followed by France (130,400 or 16 per cent), Italy (121,500 or 15 per cent), Sweden (89,400; 11 per cent) thus accounting for 75 per cent of citizenships that were granted in EU countries in 2021.

According to Eurostat, the highest naturalisation rate in EU countries was noted in Sweden, with a total of 10.0 citizenships granted per 100 resident non-nationals, followed by the Netherlands (5.4), Romania (4.6), Portugal (3.7) as well as Belgium and Spain (both 2.7).

Previously, Eurostat revealed that Cyprus registered the highest ratio of applications filed for the first time for asylum in all European Union countries in 2021, with a total of 1,480 requests fled for 100,000 inhabitants.