The number of people taking Dutch nationality fell by over 20% last year, according to new figures from the national statistics office CBS.
In total, 22,000 people became Dutch in 2015, down 5,000 on 2014. Most requests came from Moroccans (1,656) and Turks (941) but the figures were down sharply on the previous year.
Some 80% of Turks and 89% of Moroccan nationals in the Netherlands now hold Dutch nationality so fewer people are applying for it directly, CBS researcher Jan Latten told the AD.
People from the former Soviet Union accounted for the third biggest group of new Dutch nationals, followed by Iraqis and Chinese.
People can apply to become Dutch after living in the Netherlands for five years, or three years if married to a Dutch citizen – if they have gone through the correct integration procedures. However, the government is planning to increase this to seven years.
At the start of this year, 95% of the 17 million people living in the Netherlands had Dutch nationality. Around half of those without came from other EU countries, namely Poland, Germany, Britain and Belgium.
The Netherlands no longer records how many people have dual nationality. The last available figures from 2014 show 1.3 million people were both Dutch and something else.
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