More than 810,500 people acquired EU citizenship in 2010, a new report by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union shows.
United Kingdom granted the highest number of citizenships (195,000 persons), followed by France (143,000), Spain (124,000) and Germany (105,000) which together accounted for 70% of all citizenships granted by the EU27 Member States.
Compared with 2009, the number of acquisitions rose by 4% in the EU27 in 2010, mainly due to an increase in the number of citizenships granted by Spain.
The new citizens in the EU27 in 2010 came from Africa (29% of the total number of citizenships acquired), Asia (23%), non-EU27 Europe (19%), North and South America (19%), another EU27 Member State (9%) and Oceania (1%).
When compared with the total population of each Member State, the highest rates of citizenship granted were recorded in Luxembourg (8.6 citizenships granted per 1,000 inhabitants), Sweden (3.5), Belgium (3.2) and the United Kingdom (3.1).
Twelve Member States granted less than one citizenship per 1,000 inhabitants. On average, 1.6 citizenships were granted per 1,000 inhabitants in the EU27.
By relating the number of citizenships granted to the number of resident foreigners, it emerges that the highest rates were registered in Portugal (5.6 citizenships granted per 100 resident foreigners), Poland (5.0), Sweden (4.9), the United Kingdom (4.6) and Malta (4.5), and the lowest in the Czech Republic (0.3), Slovakia (0.4) and Lithuania (0.5).
On average, 2.4 citizenships were granted per 100 resident foreigners in the EU27.
In 2010, the largest groups that acquired citizenship of an EU27 Member State were citizens of Morocco (67,000 persons), Turkey (49,900), Ecuador (45,200), India (34,700) and Colombia (27,500).
Among the Member States with the highest total number of citizenships acquired, the largest groups in the United Kingdom were Indians (15% of total citizenships acquired) and Pakistanis (11%), in France, they were Moroccans (19% of total citizenships acquired) and Algerians (15%), in Spain, they were Ecuadorians (35%) and Colombians (19%) and in Germany they were Turks (25%).
In some Member States, a large part of the citizenships was granted to citizens from only one country. TheMember States with the highest concentrations were Hungary (65% from Romania) and Greece (65% from Albania).