In 2003 almost 25 thousand foreigners were naturalised. In 2002 considerably more foreigners were granted the Dutch nationality, namely 42 thousand.
Turks and Moroccans
In recent years there was a distinct reduction in the number of naturalised Turks. In 2003 close to 3 thousand Turks were granted the Dutch nationality. Six years ago ten times as many Turks were naturalised.
The number of naturalised Moroccans amounted to 6 thousand in 2003. In the preceding three years almost twice as many were granted the Dutch nationality. Nevertheless Moroccans constitute the largest group among naturalised persons. One quarter of new citizens in 2003 were of Moroccan descent.
Naturalisations of Turks and Moroccans
Additionally, 800 Iraqis, 900 Surinamese and 500 persons from (former) Yugoslavia were entitled to Dutch citizenship. The numbers are relatively small compared to, for instance, 1998 when some 2.7 thousand Iraqis, 2.9 thousand Surinamese and 6.6 thousand (former) Yugoslavs were granted the Dutch nationality.
Only one nationality
In the latter half of the 1980s annually no more than 15 thousand foreigners were naturalised annually. In the next decade the number of naturalisations grew rapidly. In 1996 close to 80 thousand foreigners were granted the Dutch nationality, the highest number so far.
Between 1 January 1992 and 1 October 1997 it was possible for foreigners to retain their original nationality causing the number of naturalisations to rise. Since 1 October 1997, with very few exceptions, persons are no longer allowed to have more than one nationality.