Hungary most generous of EU27 in granting citizenship

Int’l Relations

Eurostat has released its report on resident foreigners in the European Union’s 27 member states, finding Hungary to be tops among the EU27 in terms of resident citizens given citizenship: Some 9.8 per 100 residential foreigners in the country acquired citizenship in 2011.

For the year, a total of 783,100 acquired citizenship status from an EU27 state, down 4% from 2010; Hungary, however, saw a huge increase of about 338% y.o.y. from 6,100 new citizenships granted in 2010 to 20,600 in ’11.

After Hungary, the highest rates of new citizens per 100 resident foreigners were observed in Poland (6.7), Sweden (5.8), Malta (5.3) and Portugal (5.2). The lowest rates were seen in the Czech Republic (0.4), Slovakia (0.4), Latvia (0.6), Estonia (0.7) and Austria (0.7). On average, 2.3 citizenships were granted per 100 resident foreigners in the EU27.

Eurostat chalked up the first overall decline for the EU in four years to decreases seen in four of the five nations tops in citizenship-granting: The United Kingdom, France, Spain and Italy; together with Germany, these Western European nations represent nearly 75% of all new EU-27 citizenships.

Also revealed in the survey was a 48%:52% ratio of men to women among those granted new citizenship. The median age of those granted citizenship was 32.5 years, with over 32% younger than 25 and nearly 50% aged 25 to 44, while those aged 55 or over accounted for less than 7%.

The highest rates of citizenship granted as measured against total population were recorded in Luxembourg (6.6 citizenships granted per 1,000 inhabitants), Sweden (3.9), the U.K. (2.8) and Belgium (2.7). Hungary’s mark here was 2.1. Ten EU27 member states granted fewer than one citizenship per 1,000 inhabitants and on average 1.6 citizenships were granted per 1,000 in the EU27.

Eurostat also noted that among the EU27, Romania saw the most citizens request citizenship in another EU nations, with some 26,000 getting new citizenship – surely a significant proportion in Hungary. Romanians are typically near the top among groups with Hungarian citizenships granted. In August 2011, in fact, then-Hungarian president Pál Schmitt appealed to thousands of ethnic Hungarians to apply for dual citizenship.

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