Italy was the most generous European Union member state as regards naturalisation. Data from the EU’s statistical agency Eurostat show a total 201,591 people gained Italian citizenship in 2016, putting Italy ahead of Spain with 150,944 and the United Kingdom with 149,372.

As reported by the Italian news agency ANSA, the data show that 18.3% of the new Italians were originally from Albania, with 17.5% coming from Morocco and 6.4% from Romania.

In 2016, around 995,000 persons acquired citizenship of an EU member state, up from 841,000 in 2015 and 889,000 in 2014, Eurostat said.

Of the total number obtaining the citizenship of one of the EU Member States in 2016, nearly 90% were non-EU citizens or stateless.