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Over 60,000 get Italian citizenship in a year

Over 60,000 get Italian citizenship in a year
Italy granted citizenship to 8.0 percent of the EU total in 2012. EU flag photo: Shutterstock"

Citizenship was granted to 65,400 people in Italy in 2012, lower than the EU average by country size, statistics agency Eurostat said on Tuesday.

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Approximately 59,600 non-Europeans gained Italian citizenship, while the remainder came from EU countries.

Italy granted citizenship to 8.0 percent of the EU total in 2012, the fifth-highest percentage after the UK (23.7), Germany (14.0), France (11.7) and Spain (11.5).

But when population size is taken into account, Italy was well below average.

Italian citizenship was acquired by just 1.1 people per 1,000 inhabitants, a lower rate than 16 other EU countries. The regional average was 1.6, Eurostat said.

Luxembourg had the highest rate by far, granting citizenship to 8.7 people per 1,000 inhabitants, followed by Ireland (5.5) and Sweden (5.3).

Within Italy, Moroccans made up the largest group of new citizens (22.5 percent), followed by Albanians (14.5) and Romanians (5.0).

Italians have also taken up citizenship elsewhere in Europe, with 7,900 becoming citizens in other EU countries during 2012.

Out of all 28 EU countries, only Romania (25,200) and Poland (12,800) had higher numbers of nationals taking up citizenship elsewhere in Europe. 

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