Nearly 23 thousand people received the Dutch nationality through naturalisation in 2009. They include 17 thousand adults (18 years or older) and nearly 6 thousand children.
Number of naturalisations
Turks and Moroccans account for one quarter of naturalisations
At 23 thousand, the number of naturalisations was a few hundred higher in 2009 than in 2008. In the first few years of the present century, however, the number was nearly twice as high. In 2003, the year in which the naturalisation test was introduced, there was a sharp drop in the number of naturalisations. Since then, the number has remained stable at an average of 21 thousand per year. In 2009 one quarter of naturalisations concerned Turks and Moroccans.
Most people retain original nationality
In principle applicants renounce their original nationality when they receive the Dutch nationality through naturalisation: under Dutch law people in the Netherlands may have only one nationality. Between 1 January 1992 and 1 October 1997, however, non-Dutch nationals were allowed to retain their original nationality when they were naturalised, and most people chose to do so.
There are many exceptions to the one-nationality rule which came into force again on 1 October 1997. The best known exception – with the most numerous consequences - is that some nationalities cannot be renounced, as the country of origin forbids this. Algeria and Morocco are the best known examples of this. Because of this exception, nearly four out of five naturalised persons also kept their original nationality in the period 1998-2009.
Births also push up number of Dutch with dual nationality
Children with one parent who has a non-Dutch nationality alongside the Dutch nationality also receive two nationalities at birth. In 2009 more than 22 thousand children were born with more than one nationality. Twenty thousand persons received the Dutch nationality while retaining their previous nationality. In addition, another 5.5 thousand persons received the Dutch nationality through an option or adoption.
Dutch nationals with more than one nationality by how they received the Dutch nationality
Nearly 1.2 million Dutch people have more than one nationality
On 1 January 2010, 1.2 million people in the Netherlands had at least one other nationality alongside Dutch. This is nearly three times as many as on 1 January 1995. Half of Dutch nationals with at least one other nationality also have the Turkish or Moroccan nationality. The increase is mainly a result of the option of retaining their previous nationality when naturalised, and automatically giving babies more than one nationality at birth.
Other nationalities of Dutch nationals with more than one nationality, 1 January 2010