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New data on migration in Switzerland

New data on migration in Switzerland

26 October 2018

New data on immigrants in Switzerland shows that the immigration of European citizens has fallen down so far this year by 3 percent comparing to 2017. This is in line with a trend that has been noted since 2008, the peak year of migration to Switzerland.

Number of immigrants fell down

According to new data, the number of citizens incoming from the European Union and European Free Trade Association to Switzerland fell down by 3 percent comparing data for 9 months of this year versus the previous year. The State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) has published numbers showing that 657 less people moved to Switzerland so far this year. Generally, there are 2,075,400 foreigners living permanently in Switzerland as of September 2018, out of which 1.4 million are citizens of EU or EFTA nations. In 2008, EU and EFTA nations’ citizens immigration to Switzerland hit the record high but ever since that year numbers have been slowly, but steadily, decreasing – resulting in overall decrease of 63.6 percent in number of immigrants between 2008-2018. Even though, less people from EU decide to move in to Switzerland, there are still plenty of cross-border workers that commute from neighboring France, Italy or Germany every day to work in the country. These cross-border workers are not taken in the account in SEM data as it only looks at permanent residents. In general rate of immigration in 2018 rose – by 1 percent, equaling to 1057. Immigrants from non-EU and EFTA countries are pumping the rate. Between January and September 103,893 people moved in to Switzerland due to professional reasons and another 31,971 to join their relatives. SEM also informed that emigration rate has increased by 2.8 percent this year with 1696 more people deciding to move out of Switzerland.

Data on skilled migration

At the same, the article published in the Social Change in Switzerland series shed some light on skilled migration between 1991 and 2014. Immigration of skillful workers to the country has doubled in that time. In 1991 around 30,000 employees with tertiary qualifications came to the country, whereas in 2000 – 40,000 and by 2007 – 60,000. Currently, over half of immigrants in Switzerland have high qualifications. In terms of specific nations, 94 percent for immigrants from the US, that have arrived between 2006 and 2016, could boast of high qualifications, whereas for Indians the same figure was 97 percent. On the other hand, only 24 percent of employees from Portugal have tertiary qualifications and 44 percent of West Africans. Equal number – 62 percent – of women and men migrating to Switzerland in that period have high qualification. The study’s authors noted that numbers may be a little too high, as highly qualified people were more eager to take part in the survey. The authors also stated that skilled migration to the country is due to demand in workplace. Over half of those highly qualifies employees had already a contract before moving in to Switzerland.

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