Number of people gaining German citizenship jumped 20 percent in 2021

Number of people gaining German citizenship jumped 20 percent in 2021

Germany has recorded a steep rise in the number of people taking naturalisation tests and becoming German citizens, with more than 130.000 foreign nationals getting a German passport last year. 

131.600 people were naturalised in Germany in 2021

Approximately 131.600 internationals became naturalised German citizens in 2021, according to new figures released by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). This represents an increase of around 21.700 or 20 percent compared to 2020. 

Altogether, nationals from 173 different countries around the world became German citizens in 2021. Around a quarter were citizens of a different EU country. The best-represented countries among citizenship applicants were Syria, Turkey, Romania, Poland and Italy.

Big increase in number of Syrians fulfilling citizenship requirements 

As Destatis reported, a good half of the increase is due to a big spike in the number of Syrian nationals applying for German citizenship. 19.100 Syrians were naturalised in 2021, almost three times as many as in 2020. 

This is related to the large number of Syrians who arrived in Germany between 2014 and 2016, who are now increasingly meeting the requirements for naturalisation, such as achieving sufficient German language proficiency and a minimum of stay of eight years - or six years, following completion of an integration course.

Indeed, the evidence suggests that the vast majority of arrivals have completed these kinds of integration measures, as 81 percent of Syrian nationals who gained German citizenship in 2021 fulfilled the requirements to apply early. The average length of stay was 6,5 years. 

It is expected that the number of naturalisations will rise once again in the coming year as more Syrian nationals in particular begin to meet the requirements. At the beginning of 2021, 105.000 Syrians were living in Germany who had been here for at least six years. At the beginning of 2022, there were 449.000, more than four times as many. 



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

Read more



Leave a comment