Germany: number of Britons granted citizenship quadruples

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German authorities say the number of Britons granted German citizenship quadrupled last year as Britain voted to leave the European Union, though they were still only a small fraction of newly naturalized Germans.

The Federal Statistical Office said Tuesday that 2,865 Britons became German citizens in 2016. That's 361 percent more than in 2015 and the highest annual number yet measured for Britons.

Britons were, however, still a relatively small group. In all, 110,383 people were given German citizenship, a 2.9 percent increase.

Turks were the biggest group, with 16,290 becoming German — a 17.3 percent drop, following declines in previous years. Poles were the second-biggest, with 6,632.

Foreigners can apply for German citizenship after eight years' residence. Nationals of other EU countries and Switzerland can keep their existing passports.