ALMOST 17,000 people from 145 countries will soon be calling themselves Aussies at citizenship ceremonies this weekend.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) said the highest number of new citizens would make their pledge in Queensland, with 9964 receiving certificates, followed by 3814 in Victoria and 3763 in NSW.
The UK is the top nation of origin for new citizens, followed by South Africa, the Philippines and China.
The spokeswoman says there were 85,000 new pledges last year and Australia Day is by far the most popular day of the year to become an Australian citizen.
"Some people wait six months or more - it's a really special day, people are just jumping out of their skin," she said.
The number of new citizens in NSW making the pledge on Saturday is up by nearly 800 state-wide compared with last year, DIAC said.
The largest ceremony in Sydney will be held in Sutherland Shire, with more than 200 people getting citizenship certificates.
Other big ceremonies to take place in Sydney include the Hills (161 new citizens), Blacktown (149) and Auburn (135).
In regional NSW, citizenship events will also take place in Gosford (123 new citizens), Newcastle (86) and Coffs Harbour (64).
More than four and a half million people have become Australian citizens since the first citizenship ceremony in 1949.