Number of English speakers continues to grow in Switzerland

Number of English speakers continues to grow in Switzerland

The latest data from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) has revealed that the English language became more commonly spoken in Switzerland over 2020. The study showed that the proportion of German speakers and Italian speakers has declined, while the share of English and French speakers has increased.

German and French speakers remain the majority in Switzerland

The proportion of German, Italian and Romansh speakers has declined over the last 40 years. The FSO found that among Swiss people over the age of 15, 4,4 million speak German or Swiss German, 593.729 speak Italian or a regional dialect, and 35.311 speak Romansh.

The share of English and French speakers has increased over time, which the FSO attributes to the arrival of new residence permit holders and immigration to areas like Vaud and Geneva. 1,6 million people speak French or Patois Romand in Switzerland, 480.054 speak English and 1,3 million speak another language.

Most common languages in Switzerland revealed

Among expats, German is still the most common language spoken at home, followed by French, Italian and English. Around a quarter of the population are not Swiss citizens, but many choose to learn one of the national languages of Switzerland like German and French to make it easier to integrate, find jobs, and allow their children to attend Swiss schools.

The FSO has also compiled a list of the most popular languages spoken in Switzerland:

  1. Swiss German (56,7 percent)
  2. French (23,3 percent)
  3. High German (11,1 percent)
  4. Italian (8,3 percent)
  5. English (6,1 percent)
  6. Portuguese (3,7 percent)
  7. Albanian (3,2 percent)
  8. Spanish (2,8 percent)
  9. Serbian / Croatian (2,4 percent)
  10. Swiss Italian (1,4 percent)
  11. Romansh (0,5 percent)
  12. Other (8,1 percent)

For more information, please check out the FSO website.

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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