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Moroccans top the list of naturalized foreigners in the European Union

Moroccan nationals top the list of naturalized foreigners in the European Union for the seventh consecutive year, according to data compiled by the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat). Out of the 672,270 people who obtained citizenship in one of the member states of the European Union in 2018, 67,156 were Moroccans.

DR
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The Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat) released figures on naturalization in the European Union for 2018 on Monday. For the seventh consecutive year, Moroccans top the list of the most naturalized foreigners in Europe.

Moroccans represent nearly 10% of all the people who were granted the citizenship of a European country in 2018. They are followed by Albanians (7%) and Turks (4.2%).

According to Eurostat, while they were 700,561 in 2017, 672,270 people obtained citizenship of one of the member states of the European Union in 2018. Spain is now the top European country granting citizenship. The Iberian kingdom is followed by Italy, France and Belgium.

The number of naturalized Moroccans thus reached 67,156 people, ahead of 47,441 Albanians and 28,386 Turks. Spain tops the list of countries that granted citizenship to Moroccan immigrants with 25,315 naturalizations, representing 37.7% of naturalized Moroccans.

It is followed by Italy (21,841 naturalizations, 23.1%), France (15,390 naturalizations, 22.9%) and Belgium (4,856 naturalizations, 7.2%). Also according to Eurostat, the Netherlands ranks last with 3,017 naturalizations for Moroccans in 2018.

Moroccans ahead of Algerians and Tunisians

Although Moroccans rank first in terms of naturalizations in the EU, their numbers continue to fall. In 2015, 255,279 were naturalized in the EU. This number fell to 169,143 in 2016, 134,777 in 2017 and 67,156 in 2018.

Compared to the Maghreb countries, Algerians come in the 6th place and the majority of their naturalizations (80.9%) have been recorded in France. Out of the 18,387 naturalized Algerians, 7.9% obtained Spanish citizenship, 4.3% Italian citizenship and 3.1% obtained Belgian citizenship.

As for Tunisians (13th place), 58.9% of the 11,352 of the naturalizations were granted by France, 21.9% by Italy and 10.4% of naturalized Tunisians were in Germany.

Eurostat data does not refer to Mauritanians and Libyans. On the other hand, another African country, namely Somalia (15th place) and another Arab one, Iraq (16th) are among the top 20 foreigners naturalized in the European Union.

By group, the countries of the Asian continent (Turkey, Syria, Russia) obtained the highest number of naturalizations in one of the EU countries in 2017, followed by those of the African continent.

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