Home Travel & Adventure New EU Citizen Numbers Surge with 20% Year-on-Year Growth, Latest Data Reveals

New EU Citizen Numbers Surge with 20% Year-on-Year Growth, Latest Data Reveals


Almost one million people have gained citizenship in one of the European Union Member States in 2022, contributing to a 0.2 per cent growth in the total EU population.

This is the highest number of citizenships granted by the EU states within a year, given that approximately 826,800 people gained citizenship in 2021, 730,700 in 2020, and 706,400 in 2019. It is also an increase of 19.7 per cent compared to the previous year.

87 per cent of those who received citizenship from an EU country in 2022 were former third-country citizens, while the rest belonged to another EU country, mainly Romania. At the same time, Romania also had the highest naturalisation rate among EU countries.

In 2022, Romania recorded the highest naturalisation rate among EU countries, with 26.8 citizenships granted per 100 non-national residents. Sweden stood at 10.6, followed by the Netherlands at 4.4 and Italy at 4.2.


Regarding the EU country that welcomed most new citizens in 2022, Italy leads the list with a share of 22 per cent of the total. Spain ranks next with 18 per cent of the total, and then Germany with 17 per cent. These three countries experienced the largest increase on a year-on-year basis, while France, the Netherlands and Portugal marked the largest decreases.

Moroccans Were the Main Beneficiaries of EU Citizenship in 2022

As it has happened for years now, Moroccans top the table for most citizenships received in the EU in 2022, too, with 112,700 nationals of Morocco becoming new EU citizens or 11.3 per cent out of the total.

Newly published data show that Spain has granted 49.2 per cent of the total of citizenships received by Moroccans, while Italy is second (27.5 per cent). Next comes France (14.3 per cent), followed by Belgium (4.3 per cent). Only 4.7 per cent of Moroccans gained nationality in other EU countries.

According to Besart Bajrami, founder of SchengenVisaInfo, the increase in the number of new EU citizens whose country of origin is Morocco has occurred parallel with the increase in the total number of people who became EU citizens in 2022.

The increase in the number of Moroccans gaining EU citizenship corresponds to the increase in the number of new EU citizens. Yet, a small rise in the share of this group gaining citizenship is noticeable, as the same has gone up from 10.4 per cent in 2021 to 11.3 per cent.

Besart Bajrami, founder of SchengenVisaInfo

He further points out that in 2020, this share was at ten per cent, and nine per cent a year before that.

At the same time, Bajrami attributes the high share of Moroccans obtaining citizenship in Spain to the geographical proximity between the two countries and the common history they share. It is estimated that there are around five million people of Moroccan origin living in Spain.

Over 20 Thousand Russians Became EU Citizens in Spite of Sanctions

In spite of sanctions imposed by the EU and its Member States on Russian nationals, which followed the start of the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Russians were the tenth largest group gaining citizenship in the EU countries in 2022.

During the entire year, 20,200 Russian nationals received their EU citizenship, 23.3 per cent of which in Germany, 12 per cent of which in France, 10.2 per cent in Finland, and 8.6 in Spain. Another 46 per cent received citizenship in the rest of EU countries.

This is a 16.7 per cent increase compared to 2021, when 17,300 Russians gained EU nationality, 45 per cent of which in Germany and France.

Yet, this increase is also concurrent with the overall increase in the number of new EU citizens.

One-third of EU Citizenships Were Issued to 5 Nationalities

Approximately 320,800 citizenships, or one-third of the total, were granted to the nationals of five countries as follows:

  • Morocco – 112,700
  • Syria – 90,400
  • Albania – 50,300
  • Romania – 37,700
  • Türkiye – 29,700

Ukraine is listed only sixth, with 400 fewer citizenships than Türkiye (29,300), followed by Brazil, India, Moldova, and Russia.

The main countries of former citizenship follow a pattern that has been created for years now, as in the previous years as well, this list has been quite similar, and often identical.

1.    Morocco

For many years now, Morocco has been the main former country of origin of new EU citizenship. Data show that in the last five years alone 401,800 Moroccans have become citizens in an EU country.

The main countries that grant EU citizenship to this country are Spain, Italy, and France.

2.    Syria

Between 2019 and 2022, the number of Syrians gaining EU citizenship has more than five-folded, with the increase spiking up from 16,000 to 90,400. In the last five years, 269,200 Syrians have become citizens of one of the EU countries, mainly in Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands.

3.    Albania

Albanians remain among the top EU nationality beneficiaries, particularly in Italy. While there has been a continuous drop in the number of Albanians becoming EU citizens since 2018, this number marked an increase in 2022, surpassing even 2018 levels.

In total, 212,200 Albanians have become EU citizens between 2018 and 2022. Greece, Sweden, and Belgium are listed also among the main EU countries where Albanians gained citizenship, in the same period.

4.    Romania

The number of Romanians becoming citizens of another EU country has also marked an increase in recent years. The increase, though slight, has been stable and continuous. Romanians are in fact, the sole EU nationals in the top ten of those becoming citizens in an EU country.

Data show that 142,400 Romanians have become citizens of another EU country from the beginning of 2018 to the end of 2022.

5.    Türkiye

After a drop in the number of Turkish citizens in 2020, the same has increased again in 2021, reaching 29,700 in 2022. Turks mainly obtain citizenship in Germany, with 48 per cent in 2022, but countries like France and the Netherlands also host a large community of citizens with previous EU citizenship.

6.    Ukraine

An increase of around 60 per cent was marked in the number of Ukrainians gaining citizenship in an EU country in 2022, compared to the previous year, following the invasion of the country by the Russian military.

In the three years prior to the invasion, the number of Ukrainians being granted citizenship in the EU was just a bit over 18,000 continuously. Whereas in total, from 2018 to 2022, 98,800 Ukrainians have been granted citizenship.

7.    Brazil

Around half of the Brazilian population that have gained EU citizenship in the past years are now Italian citizens (43.4 per cent in 2022), while a large share of them are also Portuguese passport holders (24.7 per cent).

In five years since 2018, 117,000 Brazilians have become citizens of one of the EU countries, with the highest number of people having obtained citizenship in 2022 (25,900).

Facebook Comments Box
Previous articleEU Appoints Rapporteur to Spearhead Visa Abolition Efforts for Serbian Passport Holders in Kosovo
Next articleIreland Extends Diplomatic Relations: Visa Requirement Waived for Diplomats from Nine Countries
Monte OZ is a highly accomplished and respected international freelance journalist, travel and active adventure reporter, and leading entertainment & lifestyle blogger based in Africa. With a passion for storytelling, a sense of adventure, and an eye for all things captivating, Monte has become a prominent figure in the world of travel, entertainment, and lifestyle journalism. Born and raised in Africa, Monte developed a deep appreciation for the continent's diverse cultures, rich heritage, and vibrant entertainment scene. His upbringing fueled his desire to share Africa's untold stories and showcase its dynamic lifestyle to a global audience. Monte's extensive experience and expertise have made him a sought-after authority on all things related to travel, adventure, entertainment, and lifestyle in Africa. As an international freelance journalist, Monte has made significant contributions to various prestigious publications worldwide. His captivating articles, insightful interviews, and engaging features have graced the pages of leading entertainment magazines, lifestyle publications, and reputable news outlets. Monte's unique ability to capture the essence of Africa's entertainment and lifestyle scene has garnered widespread acclaim and recognition. With a love for exploration and a thirst for adrenaline, Monte also thrives as an active adventure reporter. He has embarked on daring expeditions, immersing himself in Africa's wild landscapes, and documenting his adrenaline-pumping experiences. Whether it's conquering treacherous peaks, exploring remote jungles, or engaging in heart-pounding activities, Monte's adventurous spirit and daring escapades inspire readers to embrace their own sense of adventure. In addition to his work in journalism and adventure reporting, Monte is a leading entertainment & lifestyle blogger in Africa. Through his influential blog, he offers readers an insider's view of the continent's vibrant entertainment scene, trendy hotspots, fashion trends, culinary delights, and cultural experiences. Monte's unique blend of storytelling, personal insights, and expert recommendations has made his blog a go-to resource for entertainment and lifestyle enthusiasts seeking the pulse of Africa's dynamic culture. Beyond his professional pursuits, Monte is a passionate advocate for promoting Africa's talent, creativity, and cultural diversity. He actively supports and champions emerging artists, musicians, designers, and entrepreneurs, helping to showcase their work to a broader audience. Monte's dedication to promoting Africa's vibrant entertainment and lifestyle industry has positioned him as a respected influencer and tastemaker within the African and global entertainment communities. With a commitment to excellence, a passion for exploration, and a talent for captivating storytelling, Monte Oz continues to captivate audiences worldwide. As an international freelance journalist, travel and active adventure reporter, and leading entertainment & lifestyle blogger, his work has left an indelible mark on the world of journalism, travel, and entertainment, solidifying his position as a trusted authority and go-to resource for all things related to African travel, adventure, and lifestyle.