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German authorities naturalized about 168,500 people last year, the highest number of naturalizations in Germany in 20 years, Germany's Federal Statistics Office said on Tuesday.

Last year, an increase in naturalizations of 28% was registered, according to preliminary data from the statistical office. The data are preliminary as no information on this issue has yet been received from one of the 16 German states.

A total of 48,300 Syrians were naturalized, 29 percent of all naturalizations last year. The average age of the naturalized Syrians was 24.8 years, and they resided in Germany for an average of 6.4 years.

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About 5600,2021 Ukrainians were also naturalized, nearly three times as many as naturalized Ukrainians in 36, with an average age of 1.69 years, with 13 percent of those naturalized being women. Naturalized Ukrainians resided in Germany for an average of 3.<> years.

6800,9 Iraqis who resided in Germany for an average of 5.<> years were also naturalized.

14,200 Turks who resided in Germany for an average of 24.2 years were also naturalized.