22 thousand naturalisations in 2015

Last year, 22 thousand people acquired Dutch citizenship through naturalisation, a decline of 5 thousand relative to 2014, as Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports today.
The naturalisation rate declined in particular among residents originating from Turkey, Morocco and refugee countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran.

Dutch citizenship by naturalisation is granted upon request to non-Dutch applicants who fulfil certain criteria. For example, they must meet integration requirements and have lived here for at least five years, or three years if married to a Dutch partner.


Fewer naturalisations among Moroccans and Turks

One-third of all persons who became naturalised Dutch citizens in 2015 had an unknown former nationality. Altogether 1.7 thousand Turks and 900 Moroccans were naturalised. They still form the two largest groups in spite of declining numbers over the past few years. Other significant groups in terms of numbers are persons from the former Soviet Union, Iraq (both 900) and China (700 and one of the few groups showing an increase).

Naturalised persons by former nationality
Former Soviet Union9351276
Former Yugoslavia522764

Most inhabitants have Dutch nationality

On 1 January 2016, 95 percent of the nearly 17 million inhabitants held Dutch citizenship. Over 900 thousand had a different nationality, more than half of whom were citizens from another EU member state. These were mainly Poles (110 thousand), but also Germans (72 thousand), British (44 thousand) and Belgians (31 thousand). In view of the free movement of persons and services, naturalising to become a Dutch citizen hardly offers advantages to other EU nationals. Other, non-EU nationals do benefit significantly from naturalisation. Consequently, the number of Turkish nationals has halved since 1996 and now stands at 75 thousand while the number of Moroccan nationals has fallen by more than 100 thousand in the same period to a total of 42 thousand.

Top 10 non-Dutch nationals
Syrian 25.42

Dual nationality no longer registered

Aside from holding Dutch citizenship, it is possible for certain residents to keep one or more other nationalities. Since the introduction in 2014 of the new Municipal Personal Records Database Act, however, these nationalities are no longer registered. At the most recent time of measurement, 1 January 2014, there were 1.3 million Dutch citizens with one or more other nationalities.