Switzerland's expat population continues to grow, census finds

Switzerland's expat population continues to grow, census finds

The Federal Statistical Office (FSO) has released the latest data on how the population of Switzerland has changed over 2020. The new census for 2020 showed there were over 8,6 million people living in Switzerland, more than a quarter of whom were expats.

Life expectancy drops in Switzerland due to COVID

The study from the FSO found that the population of Switzerland continues to grow at between 0,5 and 1 percent per year. Much of this growth was driven by new residence permit holders, as the number of women giving birth dropped to 85.914 in 2020. The top Swiss names for 2020 were Mia and Noah. 

The number of deaths in the country increased, mainly due to the COVID pandemic. The FSO noted that 2020 was the first time since 1962 that life expectancy declined for the general population, dropping to 81 for men and 85,1 for women. Much of this was due to excess deaths caused by COVID-19, and is expected to reverse when the pandemic ends.

Swiss expat population continues to grow

There were 35.160 civil marriages registered in Switzerland in 2020, a significant decline on last year, mainly due to cancellations related to COVID. It is assumed that this number will grow significantly in 2022, due to the passing of Marriage for all which will allow same-sex civil marriages from July 1.

Finally, 2020 saw tens of thousands more expats come to the country to work or raise a family. The FSO found that Germans were the largest national group moving to Switzerland, followed by Italians, French and Portuguese. The most popular canton for people to move to in 2020 was Fribourg, which saw the greatest internal immigration growth of any canton.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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