• A total of 810,500 people received EU citizenship in 2010 (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

UK grants highest number of EU citizenships

19.11.12 @ 10:54

  1. By Honor Mahony
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BRUSSELS - Over 810,000 people were given EU citizenship in 2010, with Moroccans forming the largest group coming to the EU, followed by Turks, Ecuadorians and Indians.

With 67,000 Moroccans granted nationality, they account for top foreign groups in Belgium, France, Italy and the Netherlands.

Turks (49,900 in total) tend to go to Germany, where they they are the top group receiving citizenship.

Ecuadorians go to Spain and Indians go to the UK, reflecting longstanding labour, historical or cultural ties.

Some member states grant citizenship predominantly to one nationality.

Sixty-five percent of Hungary's naturalised citizens come from Romania, while Albanians made up 65 percent of Greece's new citizens.

People from the former Soviet Union - with no recognised citizenship - accounted for 96 percent and 91 percent of new citizens in Latvia and Estonia.

Nigerians were the biggest group to receive citizenship in Ireland, while Portuguese topped the list in Luxembourg, Australians in Malta, Iraqis in Sweden and Ukrainians in both the Czech Republic and Poland.

In terms of numbers, the UK took on the most citizens with 195,000, followed by France (143,000), Spain (124,000) and Germany (105,000) - altogether accounting for 70 percent.

But in proportional terms, Luxembourg topped the list granting 4,300 citizenships, working out at 8.6 citizenships per 1,000 inhabitants.

Next down the scale were Sweden (3.5) and Belgium (3.2).

On average 1.6 citizenships were granted per 1,000 inhabitants in the EU in 2010.