One quarter of Swiss population is foreign

One quarter of Swiss population is foreign

12 September 2018

New data shows that more than 25 percent of the Swiss population are international residents. Federal Statistical Office published newest data on immigration. However, number of newcomers from abroad is declining.

New data on Swiss population

Federal Statistical Office of Switzerland published data on structure of the society in terms of origin. At the end of last year as much as 25.1 percent of all people living in Switzerland were coming from abroad: 2.13 million foreign residents out of 8.48 million total Swiss residents. In this foreign residents’ group majority people are of other European countries. The largest foreign population is Italian one, the second biggest is German, then Portuguese. Half of foreign people living in Switzerland have been in the country for long time: they were either born here or have at least 10 years of permanent stay recorded.  The survey did not consider both naturalized citizens in number of 45,000 in 2017 as well as cross-border workers, who just commute to work in Switzerland and are not considered permanent residents. What is worth to notice is the number of new immigrants that is on the decline. In 2017 around 171,000 people from abroad moved in to Switzerland, which is 20,000 less than year before. Foreign residents’ population increase generally by 0.2 percent, but in 2016 the rise was 2.6 percent. It means pace of immigration is significantly lower. On the contrast, the numbers reflecting people getting Swiss citizenship is increasing – around 5 percent more residents get citizenship in 2017 as compared to 2016. Most of these were Germans, Italian or Portuguese citizens. With small increase in newcomers from abroad, the total Swiss population was very stable when comparing 2016 and 2017. There were 0.8 percent more residents in Dec-2017 in the country versus 2016. Declining rate of immigration is largely contributed to new Swiss work permit rules, that are stricter than before.

Switzerland not a workers paradise anymore?

Above-mentioned data are in line with other survey on global labor – Decoding Global Talent, put together by multinational management consulting company based in the US, Boston Consulting Group. The report showed that Switzerland is no longer so attractive as the destination for foreign residents as it used to be. Last time the survey was conducted, Switzerland was on fifth spot when it comes to the most appealing to foreigners destination to migrate. This year it has the eighth spot, which means its appeal is lower. Drop of three places in the ranking is due to less interest in moving to Switzerland as shown by citizens of China, Russia, the United States, but also Germany and Italy, even though these are the two most represented nations among foreign residents in Switzerland. Less interest in moving to Switzerland is a result of increasing obstacles when it comes to receiving work permit. Getting work permit might be fencing of incoming residents, but generally Switzerland still has a good opinion among people from abroad. Foreigners think Switzerland offers very good living standards. Those great living standards might be the reason why, on the contrary, Swiss residents don’t feel like moving abroad. Comparing to four years ago, the number of Swiss who would be eager to look for a job outside their homeland ,dropped to 60 percent from 77 percent. If Swiss residents decide to move abroad permanently, not just to serve as cross-border workers, they choose Canada, the United States or Germany. The Boston Consulting Group report was made based on survey of 360,000 employees located in 197 countries.

At we are following the situation closely as this data is related to many of our customers. The primary groups at are the following:

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