Italy Has Granted Most Citizenships to Foreigners

Politics - April 7, 2024

In 2022, mainly people originating from Albania (38 thousand), Morocco (31 thousand) and Romania (16 thousand) became Italian citizens. These three nations represent 40% of total acquisitions

According to the latest data released by Eurostat, during 2022, the number of foreign citizens who obtained Italian citizenship grew significantly, reaching a total of 213,716 individuals. This figure represents an increase of 76% compared to the previous year, when only 121,457 people had acquired Italian citizenship. This growing trend was highlighted by a report by the IsmuEts Foundation, which highlighted how in 2022 4.3% of foreign residents in Italy obtained Italian citizenship, in stark contrast to the average for the entire European Union , which stood at 2.6%.

At a European level, in 2022, almost one million individuals obtained citizenship from European Union countries, recording an increase of 20% compared to the previous year, equal to approximately 163,100 more people. Italy confirmed itself as the country that granted the highest number of new citizenships, representing 22% of the EU total, followed by Spain (181,581 citizenships, equal to 18% of the EU total) and Germany (166,640 citizenships , 17% of the EU total). Notably, Italy also recorded the largest increase in citizenships granted to non-Italian residents in 2022 compared to the previous year, with an increase of 92,200 people, followed by Spain with +37,600 and Germany with +36,600. In contrast, significant decreases were observed in France (-15,900), the Netherlands (-9,300) and Portugal (-3,700).

Regarding the origin of new Italian citizens in 2022, it emerges that the majority of them come from Albania (38 thousand), followed by Morocco (31 thousand) and Romania (16 thousand), which together represent 40% of the new acquisitions. Furthermore, a significant increase in naturalizations for citizens from Argentina, Brazil, Moldova and Ukraine was observed, with increases more than doubling compared to the previous year. Analysing the European context, the main countries of origin of new EU citizens are Morocco (112,700 citizenships granted), Syria (90,400) and Albania (50,300).

Demographically, in 2022 the average age of people obtaining citizenship in EU countries was 31, with Greece recording the lowest average age, where half of new citizens are less than 21 years. In contrast, Cyprus has the highest average age of 42 years. Of these new citizens, 39% are under 25, while 41% are in the 25 to 44 age range, and the remaining 20% are 45 or older. In particular, 26% of new EU citizens are children under the age of 15. Higher percentages are found in France (34%), Latvia (33%), Spain (32%) and Belgium (31%).

Focusing on the youth population of new Italian citizens, in 2022 26% fall into the age group between 0 and 14 years. If we also consider the age group between 15 and 19, the percentage rises to 37% of all naturalizations. As regards the origin of Italian children, it is noted that the majority of them come mainly from Pakistan (44%), Bangladesh (42%), Egypt (41%) and Morocco (39%), while the lowest percentages are found among Brazilians (5%), Argentinians (7%) and Ukrainians (10%).

Data relating to naturalizations in Italy in 2022 indicate a significant increase in the number of new citizens, with a wide variety of backgrounds and a strong presence of young people and children among those who have acquired Italian citizenship, reflecting the growing diversity and inclusion in the Italian company.The Italian situation helps to understand the profound change taking place in European and international society, with a growing and difficult to stem globalization which, however, must be controlled to guarantee social security and the preservation of national cultures.