People from over 160 countries have become Swiss citizens

People from over 160 countries have become Swiss citizens

New statistics from the Federal Statistical Office have revealed that 35.000 expats have taken the final step to becoming Swiss citizens over the past year. Over 160 nations have been represented in the new figures, showing that passing the naturalisation test and becoming a citizen remains an end goal for many expats after a residence permit.

Germans and Italians are the most likely new Swiss citizens

German and Italian nationals are still the most likely to become citizens according to the most recent figures, with France, Kosovo and Portugal rounding out the top five. Europe continues to dominate, with 83 percent of new citizens hailing from across the continent. 

What is most striking about the latest figures is the relative decline from nations that have traditionally applied for citizenship. Only 1.361 people from Turkey have applied for citizenship, a significant decline since the peak of Turkish naturalisation in the 1990s and 2000s.

Alongside the usual suspects, Eritrea and Tunisia are the most numerous from Africa, while Brazil tops the Americas and new Swiss citizens from Sri Lanka are the most populous from Asia.

More former refugees are becoming citizens in Switzerland

While some come to Switzerland looking for a job or a new life in a stable nation, others seek the safety of its borders. This is seen by how many former refugees and asylum seekers are becoming Swiss citizens. 43 undocumented people became citizens in the past 12 months, alongside over 1.000 people from countries that are unstable or in a state of war.

The number of people applying for citizenship has remained around the same from last year, although migration to Switzerland has dropped by 6.000. More than 13 percent of Swiss citizens are classified as those with a migration background, with non-citizens making up 25 percent of the total population.

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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