Nearly 21 thousand people were granted Dutch nationality through naturalisation in 2004. This is 4 thousand fewer than in 2003 and half the number in 2002.
Just over 13 thousand people were naturalised independently in 2004, while 7 thousand children under the age of 18 were co-naturalised.
Fewer Turks and Moroccans naturalised
The number of Turks and Moroccans granted Dutch citizenship has fallen particularly sharply in recent years, although it now seems to be stabilising. In 2004 nearly 3 thousand Turks became Dutch nationals; in 1996 this was ten times as many.
Fewer Moroccans, too, acquired Dutch citizenship, although the fall is smaller than for Turks. In 2004, 4 thousand Moroccans received Dutch citizenship, nearly 11 thousand fewer than in 1996. After Turks and Moroccans, Afghans (800), Surinamese (700) and people from former Yugoslavia (600) are the largest groups receiving Dutch nationality in 2004. For these groups, too, there was a substantial fall. In 1999 1.8 thousand Afghans, 3.1 thousand Surinamese and 7.9 thousand people from former Yugoslavia were naturalised.
Naturalisation of Turks and Moroccans
From 1 January 1992 to 1 October 1997 people who received the Dutch nationality were given the possibility of retaining their original nationality. Many people made use of this possibility. Since 1 October 1997, however, people may have only one nationality. However, there are a number of exceptions to this rule and in practice the majority of naturalised people keep their original nationality. This has pushed up the number of Dutch people with dual nationality. On 1 January 2005 980 thousand Dutch nationals also had at least one other nationality. Ten years previously this number was 400 thousand.
Dutch nationals with at least one other nationality, 1 January
In addition to birth and naturalisation, there are other ways to acquire the Dutch nationality: recognition and adoption. In 2004 a total 5.6 thousand persons received Dutch citizenship by recognition or adoption.