In 2017, Malta issued 1,973 citizenship. This was stated in a Eurostat publication which shows that these included 464 Russians who qualified for citizenship, the majority through the citizenship investment programme.
They are followed by 342 persons from Saudi Arabia and 195 from the United Kingdom who acquired Maltese citizenship.
Eurostat does not specify the method by which citizenship was obtained but it is plausible that the number of Russians and Saudi Arabians is directly linked to Malta’s cash-for-passport scheme.
Across the EU, almost one million people were granted citizenship in any of the member states.
Moroccans topped the list of citizenship recipients with 169,143, followed by Albanians (126,336) and Indians (73,287).