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Population of Switzerland rapidly approaches 9 million people

Population of Switzerland rapidly approaches 9 million people

The Swiss population is rapidly growing due to a bumper wave of immigration in the first half of 2022. Refugees from the war in Ukraine, an increasing number of asylum applications and more people migrating to Switzerland to look for a job have characterised immigration patterns in the country over the past six months.

200.000 people set to come to Switzerland in just one year

In July 2022, Switzerland’s permanent resident population hit 8,74 million people, with experts predicting that net migration to Switzerland would total 200.000 by the end of the year. If these predictions are correct, this will put Switzerland’s population close to 9 million by the start of 2023. 

The majority of these new immigrants come from eastern Europe, with around 60.000 Ukrainians having arrived so far. The Swiss government predicts that up to 140.000 Ukrainian refugees will head to Switzerland by the end of the year, alongside 16.500 asylum seekers from other nations.

Nonetheless, asylum seekers, refugees and Ukrainian refugees claiming the S type of residence permit will not be classed as "permanently settled in Switzerland" until they have resided in the country for one year, which means they will likely not be added to the total population until next year.

Growing population means Switzerland needs more apartments

Switzerland’s rapidly growing population means that the country now needs an extra 90.000 rental apartments and houses. 14.000 extra places in the Swiss school system are also needed to accommodate refugee children. Thankfully, Stefan Wolter, a professor of education economics, said that he believes it is possible for these children to be distributed among existing schools with larger class sizes, eliminating the need to find extra teachers. 

The war in Ukraine has already cost Switzerland a lot of money in terms of hosting Ukrainian refugees, let alone the price of sanctions. Preparations to take in 100.000 refugees has cost cantons 1,7 billion Swiss francs so far.  

Emily Proctor

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Emily Proctor

Emily studied International Relations and Chinese, and is now undertaking Master's degree in International Security. She enjoys writing, cooking, and playing piano.

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