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Record numbers receive Finnish citizenship in 2016

State-owned data cruncher Statistics Finland says over 9,000 permanent residents of Finland were granted citizenship in 2016, the highest number since Finnish independence in 1917.

Nainen pitelee käsissään Suomen ja Venäjän passeja.
Image: Anna Nesterova / Yle

Statistics Finland reports that 9,375 foreigners received Finnish citizenship last year, the largest since number since Finland declared independence 100 years ago.

This record number was 1,454 larger than in 2015.

Russians were the largest group receiving Finnish citizenship, accounting for 2,028 new passport holders. This was 300 more than the year before.

The second-largest group, at 1,066, held Somali citizenship.

The third most populous group, from Iraq, came in at 534, while Estonian citizens took fourth place with 459 new Finnish citizens.

More women than men

The average age of persons having received Finnish citizenship was under 30 years, while 4,914 were women and 4,461 men. Close to 3,000 were under 18.

Of the people who were granted Finnish citizenship, 96 percent chose to retain their former citizenship.

There are some 105,000 people living in Finland who hold dual citizenship.

Of these, 20,324 are native-born Finnish citizens who had been granted citizenship in another country, and 84,673 persons are foreign citizens who had been granted Finnish citizenship.

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