A total of 19,200 individuals from 193 countries became Canadian citizens last month. This number is almost double that for last February, when a little fewer than 10,000 people were granted Canadian citizenship.

The new citizens were sworn in at over 220 citizenship ceremonies across the country. Thus far in 2014, over 41,000 Canadians have received citizenship.

“Canadian citizenship comes with rights, responsibilities and a commitment to Canadian values and traditions,” said Immigration Minister Chris Alexander. “To the number of new Canadians who have taken the Oath of Citizenship this month, I welcome you to the Canadian family.”

Canada has the highest rate of naturalization in the world, with 85 per cent of eligible permanent residents becoming citizens.

Since 2006, the country has seen the highest sustained levels of immigration in its history, with an average of 257,000 new permanent residents arriving each year. Because of this, demand for citizenship has risen accordingly. The Canadian government has been working to bring down citizenship application backlogs and streamline the process so that citizenship processing times will decrease to under a year.