Where do Switzerland’s English speakers live?

Where do Switzerland’s English speakers live?

According to new data published by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), the majority of English speakers in Switzerland are concentrated in just four Swiss cantons. The survey focused on finding where speakers of different languages are dispersed across Switzerland. 

Switzerland's most spoken non-Swiss language is German

The most spoken language in Switzerland is Swiss German, followed by French and German (the dialect spoken in Germany, not Switzerland). After this, Italian is the fourth most widely spoken language in Switzerland, just ahead of English in fifth place.

Around 6,1 percent of people living in Switzerland speak English at home, especially in Geneva, Zug, Basel and Canton Vaud. According to the FSO, Geneva has the highest proportion of English speakers in Switzerland, with approximately 12 percent of residents speaking English at home.

Very few learners of Swiss German across the country

These findings concur with other studies done in the past, showing that the majority of Switzerland’s English speakers tend to head for the country’s larger and more cosmopolitan cities, where English speaking jobs are more widely available. The FSO survey also showed that Switzerland’s younger generation use English more frequently, with 72 percent of 15 to 24-year-olds reporting that they communicate in English at least once a week. 

In terms of those seeking to study a new language in Switzerland, the least-learned language is actually Swiss German. Only 3,5 percent of people say that they are learning Swiss German specifically, while almost 35 percent of people are learning English and 15,4 percent of people in Switzerland are learning German

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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