18% increase in number of people who acquired EU citizenship
Eurostat data on those who acquired European Citizenship show that in 2016, 994 800 people obtained citizenship of an EU-28 Member State, a increase of 18 % compared with 2015. This increase occurred after two consecutive years of decrease. The main contribution to the increase at EU level came from Spain (36 600 more persons were granted Spanish citizenship than in 2015), followed by the United Kingdom (+31 400), Italy (+23 600), Greece (+19 300) and Sweden (+12 300).
Most new citizenships in 2016 were granted by Italy (201 600 or 20 % of the EU-28 total), Spain (150 900 or 15 %), the United Kingdom (149 400 or 15 %), France (119 200 or 12 %) and Germany (112 800 or 11 %).
Of those acquiring citizenship of an EU-28 Member State, 87 % had previously been citizens of non-EU countries. Of these, citizens of Morocco made up the highest numbers, followed by citizens of Albania, India, Pakistan and Turkey.
A report by James Debono, published on MaltaToday show that Russians accounted for one in every three of citizens who became Maltese in 2016.
Saudi Arabians who became Maltese citizens accounted for more than a fourth of all Saudi Arabians who became European citizens in 2016.
MaltaToday’s James Debono’s analysis, published on MaltaToday can be read here.