Thursday, January 18, 2018

Foreign population in Switzerland

With 19 entries per 1000 inhabitants on average in 2014, Switzerland is leading the European immigration countries, far ahead of Germany (11), UK (9.8), Spain (6.6) and France (5.1).

The high rate of immigration in Switzerland is certainly not new. Immigration is a recurring theme of the last fifty years, one on which Switzerland has voted repeatedly in the polls. In February 2014, voters narrowly approved a popular initiative for stricter immigration controls.

The proportion of foreigners and their nationality of origin vary considerably in different regions of Switzerland. French-speaking Switzerland, in the west, home to the largest proportion of foreigners, contrasts strongly with the situation in central Switzerland. Citizens of Germany, France and Italy are, not surprisingly, more likely to live in regions where their native language is spoken.

It should also be noted that Swiss citizenship is not automatically acquired by all. Even many foreigners born in Switzerland retain only their original nationality. According to the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, almost 396'000 foreign nationals were born in Switzerland in 2015, accounting for about a fifth of the "foreign" population. Among foreigners living in Switzerland who were born elsewhere, some 44% have lived in Switzerland, as a permanent resident, for 10 years or more.

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