A woman born in Africa holds her certificate of naturalisation of the Federal Republic of Germany during a naturalisation ceremony. EPA/JENS WOLF


German naturalisations at highest since records began


In 2023, more people were naturalised in Germany than since the year 2000, the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden has announced.

Naturalisations reportedly increased by 19 per cent last year compared to 2022, which in turn saw a 28 per cent rise from 2021.

In absolute numbers, around 200,000 obtained German nationality last year, 31,000 more than in the year previous.

The newcomers mainly came from Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Romania and Afghanistan, with these nationalities representing more than half of the country’s new citizens.

More than a third of naturalised people are claimed to have come from Syria alone, having primarily been former asylum seekers who had arrived for processing in 2015 and 2016.

Syrian numbers increased by 56 per cent last year compared to 2022.

The number of naturalised Iraqis rose by 57 per cent while Turkish numbers fell by 25 per cent. Naturalisations of Afghanis increased by 55 per cent.

More than 80 per cent of the arrivals also retained their original citizenship.

Some 55 per cent of new citizens are male, with ages averaging 29.3 years — significantly younger than the average age of the total German population, which was 44.9 years in 2023, according to global statistics provider Worldometer.

Germany’s traffic-light coalition Government passed its centrepiece bill to relax citizenship and naturalisation legislation on January 19.

MPs also agreed to lift the language barrier for those over 67, relax residency requirements and allow dual nationality. Previously, forfeiture of former citizenship was sometimes required for naturalisation.

Additionally, the new rules also shorten the time required for naturalisation.

Official registration of naturalisation statistics began in the year 2000, with the introduction of the Nationality Act.