Ireland granted second highest level of citizenships in the EU in 2014

Just over 15% of all new Irish citizens were from Nigeria

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File photo | Image: RollingNews.ie

New figures have shown Ireland granted the second highest level of citizenships in 2014.

Eurostat says in relation to the population, the highest number of citizenships were given out by Luxembourg (5.8 per thousand persons) followed by Ireland (4.6), Sweden (4.5) and Spain (4.4).

In total, 21,104 people obtained Irish citizenship in 2014 - with 14% of these already being citizens of another EU member state.

While 86% of the overall number were non-EU citizens.

Some 15.6% of all new Irish citizens were originally from Nigeria. These were followed by Indians at 13.9%, and Filipinos who made up 10.3%.

More generally, around 890,000 people acquired citizenship of an EU member state in 2014, which was down from 981,000 in 2013.

Since 2009, more than five million persons in total were granted a citizenship for an EU member state.

Of the total number obtaining citizenship in 2014, 89% were non-EU citizens.

The largest group acquiring citizenship of an EU member state were citizens of Morocco (92,700 persons, of which 88% acquired citizenship of Spain, Italy or France).

Recipients of an EU member state citizenship in 2014, by continents of origin | Source: Eurostat

This was ahead of Albania (41,000, 96% acquired citizenship of Greece or Italy), Turkey (37,500, 60% acquired German citizenship), India (35,300, almost two-thirds acquired British citizenship), Ecuador (34,800, 94% acquired Spanish citizenship), Colombia (27,800, 90% acquired Spanish citizenship) and Pakistan (25,100, around half acquired British citizenship).

Moroccans, Albanians, Turks, Indians, Ecuadorians, Colombians and Pakistanis represented together 33% of the total number.

Romanians and Poles were the two largest groups of EU citizens acquiring citizenship of another EU member state.

The proportion of citizenship acquisitions by children was highest in France (33 %), Austria (32 %) and Belgium (31 %) - and lowest in Bulgaria (5 %).

In Lithuania and Luxembourg, no children were granted citizenship.

Malta accounted for the highest share of grants of citizenship to persons aged 65 or older (9.6 %), followed by Greece (8.9 %).

The lowest shares of elderly new citizens were recorded in Ireland (0.6 %), Austria (0.5 %) and Slovenia (0.3 %).