Some 22,000 people given Dutch citizenship in 2016, down 19 pct

Multicultural . (Rufino / Wikimedia Commons)

Last year the Netherlands granted Dutch citizenship to 22 thousand people. That is 5 thousand less than the year before, a decrease of 19 percent, according to figures from Statistics Netherlands.

Some 1,700 Turks nd 900 Moroccans were given Dutch citizenship, making up the largest group. Though the number of Turks and Moroccans given citizenship has been decreasing for a number of years, according to Statistics Netherlands. Other large groups included Soviet citizens and Iraqis, with about 900 each, and Chinese with 700.

A third of the people that became Dutch through naturalization last year do not know their original nationality. 

To gain Dutch nationality a foreigner needs to live in the Netherlands for five years and pass their naturalization exams. If you are married to a Dutch person, the period is reduced to three years. 

On January 1st of this year 95 percent of the 17 million people in the Netherlands had Dutch nationality. 900 thousand had a different nationality. More of half of these people came from other European Union Member States, mostly Poland, Germany and Great Britain.