Very few Europeans apply for Spanish citizenship. | Archive

Annual data from the National Statistics Institute show that 2,863 foreign residents in the Balearics acquired Spanish citizenship in 2018; these represented 1.2% of all applications nationwide.

The foreign group with the highest number of applications (550) was Moroccan. Overwhelmingly, the applications came from citizens from Africa, Caribbean countries and South America. Of European Union citizens, there were just 88 applications, 21 Italian having been the highest number. There was not a single British application, and nor were there any from two non-EU countries which have significant presence in the Balearics - Norway and Switzerland.

It might have been thought that Brexit would have provoked applications, but the absence of any last year interrupted the trend over the previous five years, during which the number of Britons who acquired citizenship varied between three and seven per annum.

Nationally there were 90,828 new Spanish citizens, which was a notable increase of 37%. There were more Moroccan applications - 25,372 - than other nationalities. Between them, Catalonia and the Madrid region accounted for 42% of all new Spanish citizens.