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Decline in foreign citizens receiving Finnish nationality

According to Statistics Finland, the number of people granted citizenship last year was a quarter less than in 2017.

Majority of those granted Finnish nationality retained their former nationality. Image: Yle

New data from Statistics Finland indicate that significantly fewer people received Finnish nationality in 2018 compared to the previous year. A total of 9,211 foreign citizens permanently residing in Finland were granted citizenship last year. This is about a quarter less than 2017, when a record 12,219 applicants were given Finnish nationality.

Altogether 1,766 Russian citizens were given citizenship last year, the largest group to gain the right to dual citizenship. This was followed by Somalia, with 856 citizens granted Finnish nationality, and Iraq with 621. Estonians were the fourth-largest group.

The average age of the people who received Finnish citizenship last year was 28. There were more women than men, with 4,876 women and 4,335 men receiving nationality.

Statistics Finland also found that 97 percent of applicants granted Finnish passports also retained their former citizenship. At the end of last year, nearly 126,000 permanent residents in Finland held dual citizenship.

A total of 21,757 dual nationals were born in Finland and were granted nationality in another country and 104,086 were foreign citizens who were granted Finnish nationality. The largest dual citizenship groups were those from Russia, Sweden and Somalia.