CITLAW Indicators

The GLOBALCIT Citizenship Law (CITLAW) indicators capture the degree of inclusion and freedom of choice reflected in domestic legislation regulating the acquisition and loss of citizenship.

The main CITLAW indicators cover the legislation in force in 42 European states on 31 December 2011 and on 1 January 2016.

The CITLAW Global Birthright Indicators cover the legislation in force in 177 countries between 1 January 2010 and 1 January 2020. In future updates, we plan to offer series for previous years, in order to capture trends over time.

In contrast with the categorical indicators used in the GLOBALCIT Citizenship Law Dataset to identify qualitative differences between citizenship law provisions, CITLAW uses quantitative indicators calculated with additive and weighting formulas to  reflect the substantive and procedural requirements for t modes of acquisition or loss of citizenship. For birthright citizenship acquisition, naturalisation, and citizenship renunciation, the absence of a provision or the most restrictive conditions correspond to an indicator score of 0, whereas unconditional entitlements or the most inclusive provisions get a score of 1. For involuntary loss of citizenship through withdrawal or automatic lapse, the absence of a provision corresponds to a score of 1 and the most extensive state powers to withdraw citizenship to a score of 0.

The CITLAW indicators are also aggregated at different levels in order to capture more general features of citizenship legislation.  For example, 45 basic indicators are combined to calculate 6 higher-level indicators, namely ius sanguinis, ius soli, residence-based ordinary naturalisation, naturalisation on specific grounds, voluntary renunciation, and withdrawal/lapse.

How to cite information from the CITLAW datasets:

Bauböck, Rainer, Iseult Honohan and Kristen Jeffers (2017). Citizenship Law indicators (CITLAW). Global Citizenship Observatory,

Honohan, Iseult, Nathalie Rougier, Rainer Bauböck and Merve Erdilmen (2020). Global birthright indicators. Global Citizenship Observatory,


Do you have questions about CITLAW or comments/suggestions about the information provided for specific provisions in a country? We welcome all constructive feedback. Please email:

Coding is based on an assessment of provisions in domestic citizenship legislation. If we learn that we have coded an indicator based on incomplete or inaccurate information, we will correct the coding as soon as possible. This means that from time to time there will be changes in the CITLAW scores. Please check the data repositories for CITLAW and for CITLAW Global Birthright Indicators for the most recent versions of the data files.