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Now over one million dual nationality holder in the Netherlands

Number tripled in a decade

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THE HAGUE - The number of people in the Netherlands with dual nationality has tripled in just over a decade to over one million. On January 1, 2008, 1.08 million people in the Netherlands had at least one other nationality besides their Dutch citizenship. This number is nearly three times as high as on January 1, 1995.

Nearly half of the 1.08 million have a Turkish or Moroccan nationality as well, reports the Central Bureau for Statistics (CBS). Since 1995, the sharp rise in the number of dual citizenship holders is predominantly attributed to children born in the Netherlands of parents of Turkish or Moroccan citizenship. In 2007 alone, 21,000 children born in the Netherlands automatically obtained the citizenship of another country because one or both of their parents had that country's nationality as well.

The current Dutch policy forces Moroccan Dutch parents to register their child as a 'Moroccan,' even if both parents of Moroccan ancestry were born in the Netherlands and opted for a single Dutch citizenship. This is due to a Moroccan law, which claims as Moroccan, children born of people with Moroccan ancestry, which Dutch law accepts as legitimate.

Between January 1992 and October 1997, those with non-Dutch citizenship were allowed to retain their original nationality. This option was used on a large scale. Since October 1997, people are technically no longer allowed to have more than one nationality but nearly 80 percent of people naturalized in the period 1998-2007 could still retain their original nationality due to the numerous exceptions to this rule.