4 in 10 people in Switzerland have a migration background, FSO reveals

4 in 10 people in Switzerland have a migration background, FSO reveals

With the country’s population recently reaching 9 million, it seems as though Switzerland is in the mood for breaking records: a new report from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) has confirmed that as of the end of 2022, four in every 10 Swiss residents have a migration background.

Swiss expat and international population booms

According to the latest data, 40 percent of the permanent resident population are either Swiss citizens who were born outside the country, those born in the country to foreign nationals who then gained citizenship, or expats and internationals with residence permits. This is the highest proportion of foreign nationals ever recorded in Switzerland, totalling around 2,9 million people.

The study noted that the past decade has seen an enormous increase in the number of people coming to the country for jobs or to reunite with family. Around half of those with a migration background who live in Switzerland today were not residents of the country in 2012.

Those with a migration background the majority in some Swiss cantons

The FSO added that 80 percent of residents with a migration background were born abroad. Among those who have not gained a Swiss passport, Italian and German citizens are the most numerous, accounting for 10 and 9 percent of the population respectively. With 8 percent, Portuguese nationals rounded out the podium, followed by French, Kosovar, Spanish, Turkish, Serbian and North Macedonian.

The rapid rise in migration has also led to demographic changes within the cantons, with people with a migration background making up the majority in some regions. In Geneva, 64,4 percent of the population falls into this category, followed by Vaud (52,3), Ticino (50,10) and Zurich (45,70). The canton with the smallest proportion of expats and internationals is Canton Uri at just 14,5 percent.

For more information about the study, check out the official website

Thumb image credit: 2p2play /

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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