In Europe, a variety of national policies regulate access to citizenship. This article analyses how citizenship policies affect naturalization rates among immigrants. Our analysis confirms that favourable citizenship policies positively affect naturalization rates, especially among first-generation immigrants with more than 5 but fewer than 20 years of residence. However, most variation is explained by other factors. Immigrants from poor, politically unstable, and non-EU countries are more likely to be a citizen of their European country of residence. Other important predictors of the citizenship status of immigrants are language, years of residence (first generation), and age (second generation). Explanations of naturalization rates in Europe should not only take into account institutional conditions but also include other destination and origin country factors and individual characteristics of immigrants.
- cross-national comparison
- migration policies