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Sweden tops EU in citizenship approval rate

The Local · 6 Jul 2010, 14:47

Published: 06 Jul 2010 14:47 GMT+02:00

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A total of 30,460 people acquired Swedish citizenship in 2008, a drop from 33,630 in 2007. However, the country had the highest rate of citizenship approvals among all EU countries in 2008, at 54 citizenships granted per 1,000 resident foreigners, followed closely by Portugal at 51, Poland at 48, Finland at 47 and Hungary at 43.

Sweden also topped the list in 2008 when comparing the rate of citizenship acquisition against the total population of each member state, with 3.3 citizenships per 1,000 inhabitants, ahead of Luxembourg at 2.5 and France, Portugal and the UK at 2.1 each.

In 2008, 695,880 persons acquired citizenship of an EU state, compared with 707,110 in 2007. The new citizens in 2008 came mainly from Africa (29 percent of the total number of citizenships acquired), non-EU Europe (22 percent), Asia (19 percent) and North and South America (17 percent).

EU citizens who acquired citizenship in another EU country accounted for eight percent of the total. In 2008, the highest number of citizenships were granted by France (137,000), the UK (129,000) and Germany (94,000), which together accounted for over 50 percent of all citizenships granted in the EU.

The lowest rate of citizenship approval in the EU in 2008 belonged to the Czech Republic at 3 per 1,000 resident foreigners and Ireland and Luxembourg, both at 6. The EU average in 2008 stood at 23 per 1,000 resident foreigners.

Ten member states granted less than one citizenship per 1,000 in 2008, with Poland registering the lowest rate, followed by the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Slovakia. The EU average was 1.4 citizenships granted per 1,000 inhabitants.

In 2008, the largest groups that acquired EU citizenship were citizens of Morocco (64,000 persons), Turkey (50,000), Ecuador (27,000), Algeria (23,000) and Iraq (20,000).

France granted 45 percent of all the citizenships acquired in the EU by Moroccans and 88 percent of those acquired by Algerians, Germany 49 percent of those acquired by Turks, Spain 93 percent of those acquired by Ecuadorians and the UK 44 percent of those acquired by Iraqis.

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In some member states, a large part of the citizenships was granted to citizens from only one country. The member states with the highest concentrations were Romania (89 percent of new citizens came from Moldova), Hungary (68 percent from Romania), Greece (59 percent from Albania) and Bulgaria (51 percent from Macedonia).

In Latvia and Estonia, 96 percent and 92 percent respectively of the new citizens were recognised non-citizens. The majority were citizens of the former Soviet Union.

A recognised non-citizen is a person who is neither a citizen of the reporting country nor of any other country and who has established links to the reporting country which include some but not all rights and obligations of full citizenship.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:14 July 6, 2010 by William Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha
Talk about twisting stats to give a false impression.

"Sweden tops EU in citizenship approvals"

"Sweden is the most generous country in the EU when it comes to approving citizenship applications"

Really? Sweden approved 30,460 as opposed to the 137,000 in France; the 129,000 in the UK and the 94,000 in Germany.
18:44 July 6, 2010 by Celc
@William Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha - Do you know what per-capita means? Sweden only has 9 million people. If we took in 137,000 people each year we'd increase our population with well over 10% in just 10 years. Don't be silly.
20:05 July 6, 2010 by unt9
I like multicultural societies, like in Netherlands or Malaysia, makes me feel good.
21:20 July 6, 2010 by Traveler2010
@Nachos. That is true. Allow mathmatical trends to play out over a period of 10, 20, 50 years and the changes because extreme and dramatic. When you consider that, it seems as though the Swedish government is doing this deliberately to their country & their citizens.

What is the great NEED to have a growing influx of immigrants, especially from Muslim countries? Played out over decades. Why are they DELIBERATELY trying to transform the Swedish society like that?
23:12 July 6, 2010 by silly t
that high percentage from Africa is deception...i am very sure Somalis make 99% of the proportion...

Well Sweden is simply taking responsibility for it's actions...

they sell arms to rebels in Somali,the people are homeless...Sweden gives them asylum....they come and drive the buses and trams, do all cleaning...its just a policy....who cares
23:12 July 6, 2010 by Buccaneer
@ darrenj

I agree that everyone should calm down and focus on the sun and LOVELY ladies around. Lets all just get along, lets smile and be happy before the cold cold winter comes.

Hmmmm, LOVELY Ladies, Lovely Sun. I Love it!
00:06 July 7, 2010 by Brucelee@stockholm.sweden
You know what, because it is a overwhelming trend in a globalization world, no one can stop it, on the other hand, immigrants bring in many things, talents, labors and taxes, etc. And most important is, diversity is a good option for a society, that is a proven solution, as many immigrants country like US, Canada & Australia have shown us.
00:27 July 7, 2010 by Typical Whitey
Sweden, welcome to your future. Good bye to your culture, language, religion, gene pool...
02:12 July 7, 2010 by glamelixir
Well... yesssss. It is tooo easy to get a citizenship here.

I am Italian and I grew up in Argentina, lived there for 31 years and I don't have their citizenship. My husband keeps telling me to get the Swedish one to get a right to vote, but no thank you. Let me keep my Italian passport, some day Swedes are going to have migration troubles to enter some countries.
06:42 July 7, 2010 by silly t
Swedes should thank their leaders for this....its leading to some societal emancipation.

swedes would become more courageous in facing life.

today many swedes are so elitist, primitive (sorry to say) because for a very long time they were never exposed to the world.....reason why they get lost when they travel out of sweden

get on like the US,Canada etc and become a great nation...
08:52 July 7, 2010 by LeoKinmann
immigrants having an easy time obtaining a citizenship doesn't mean they feel welcomed in this country. it's not easy to get integrated into the society here. your common, average swedish neighbors consider themselves having the best of everything in this world; they don't give a damn trying to get to know you; they think they know the world but they don't. the normal human interactions you find in other countries are pretty much non-existent here. it's this blind pride and the lack of will to adapt that will eventually lead Sweden to her downfall.
09:39 July 7, 2010 by christo
buccaneer and darrenj i go by urside. hhej guys cool down its summer, feel the sun, lovely ladies around, bikinis. its summer enjoy. me am alreday feeling the heat on the ladies and the sun woow. winter is coming and u will see pple closing themsleves in the houses and they will keep mum. hehehe


me am already feeling the beach and the sun with lovely ladies around

come on guys. its holidays
10:34 July 7, 2010 by darrenj
here here

People must realise to take the world with a grain of salt. Due to globalisation the world IS changing; culture language and tradition even values WILL change.

Change is an unstoppable juggernaut either your ride on its shoulders or try to stand in its way...what do you think will happen?

Xenophobia and ultra-conservatism takes up sooo much negative energy man.

As some great man said: you have to choose your problems. NO where is perfect.

yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!!
00:40 July 8, 2010 by diegoveggie
'Sweden, welcome to your future. Good bye to your culture, language, religion, gene pool...'

well, there's not much culture/religion anyways..hahah and that's not a bad thing!
08:10 July 9, 2010 by farnoxo
What many of the xenophobic biggots who have posted anit-immigrant sentiments do not realise is ... if Sweden DOES NOT get more immigrants who will pay for their pensions and unemployment benefits (especially as there seems to be a trend that between being unemployed and bigotted :-) All of Europe is facing an enormous pension fund bomb as European nations keep getting older. The shortfall in the working population to fund this can only be filled if a) everyone shags like rabbits and we have a lot more children or

b) immigrants fill the labour pool gaps

Although option a) sounds more appealing (in more ways than one!), it will take longer for the effect to be seen in the labour pool. Option b) is a much more immediate solution.
20:11 July 9, 2010 by sleepinacoffin
@adais the reason why i came to sweden defintely does not have anything to do with the swedish citizenship.

judging what you have asked, i am wondering what your aim was when you came here..
23:57 July 9, 2010 by BLADESKATER00
These immigrants are not [for the most] a benefit to Sweden or the Swedish people--they for the most are straining your very limited resources and undermining the Swedish culture. e.g., Muslim immigrants have [for the most] not come to assimilate--and they are one of several trojan horses in Swedish self destruction. Here's a thought for ignorant Swedes--before Sweden began admitting large numbers of foreigners, they for [the most] did well for themselves--and now after so many foreigners have been admitted--you are not doing as well as you did before. As the foolish Swedish people continue to allow foreigners to flood into their country--things will continue to get worse for the Swedish people and their culture.
09:37 July 10, 2010 by jaysea32
This generosity will, in the future, haunt the next generation in Sweden just like it is doing here in the U. S. where, at the base of the statue of liberty states "give us you tired...etc." As a result of our goodness, we now have a nation that has a societal cancer which our young people are going to suffer, all because of lack of foresight by its leaders. It's sad that Swedens' leadership won't take a lesson from us.
14:25 July 13, 2010 by wenddiver
Was that a citizenship application? I thought it was a welfare application, oh well same thing.

By the way, your women not wearing their Burkas, offend them.
14:57 July 13, 2010 by LeoKinmann
I'm from Sweden and I attended an Ivy League school for a year in US. What I absolutely loved about the states was the huge diversity of people the country has under her wings. It was amazing how great the folks there are. If two people with different background meet and talk (provided they are sensible, responsible grown-ups), they will find themselves in conversations where differences becomes the social lubricant and similarities the bonds between cultures. I'm glad that I didn't run into any xenophobes. Then again, it was in Ivy League, I can't really say the same to other places of US. Sweden is not as diversified as the states, and the social problems we have today are more or less related to earlier phases of immigrations, where people suddenly find themselves exposed to other cultures without knowing how to handle it. It takes time to sort things out. However, if anyone wants to claim Sweden is the best country for immigrants, I have to disagree.
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