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Record number of Brits becoming German citizens

June 3, 2020

More British migrants became naturalized German citizens in 2019 than in the previous two years combined. The total number of people becoming naturalized German citizens is at its highest since 2003.

German passport
Image: picture-alliance/K. Willig

The number of people who became naturalized German citizens increased by 15% in 2019, with more than average coming from the UK, according to new naturalization statistics released Wednesday by Germany's Statistical Office. 

Out of the 128,900 people who obtained German citizenship in 2019, the most came from Turkey at 16,200, followed by the United Kingdom at 14,600, Poland at 6,000 and Romania at 5,800. 

In 2019, people from 183 countries became naturalized German citizens, and the 2019 naturalization number is at its highest since the 2003 tally of 140,700 people. 

Read moreGermany plans stricter citizenship rules

The Brexit effect?

According to the statistics, the number of British becoming German citizens has steadily increased since the Brexit referendum in 2016. In 2015, there were only around 600 cases. 

The number of Brits becoming naturalized in 2019 is more than 2017 and 2018 combined. 

However, the statistics don't indicate that this group left Britain for Germany due to Brexit, as more than half of the migrants have lived in Germany for over 25 years.

Most of the new British-Germans also decided to keep their British citizenship alongside German, and half of them were over 50 years old, with the oldest aged over 90.

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wmr/stb (KNA, dpa)