@ton I suspect much of it is a result of the shift in optics around immigrants / refugees / migrant workers. They aren’t citizens, but should be afforded the same rights as citizens (or so the narrative I often hear goes). Thus to speak of citizens, is to speak of a class of which some are not part.
For the modern sensitivity of ‘inclusion,’ this is one barrier to many and so linguistic gymnastics are performed lest we make anyone feel not part of the social system.
@robert Could be, esp for the use of 'inhabitants'. Good point. Although in our EU context EU migrant workers / migrants (about half of all migrants) would be covered by the meaning of 'citizen'. It's not something I hear as explanation from Dutch civil servants though, that seems to stem from the negative connotations they attach to the _word_ citizen itself, not its meaning or coverage.
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