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Births, deaths, foreigners  Swiss population stats reveal strong changes in society 


A meet-up of twins of all ages in French-speaking Switzerland

(Keystone / Sandro Campardo)

The percentage of foreigners in Switzerland is higher than in its neighbours, and much higher than it was almost 50 years ago, statistics have revealed. There are also far more older people and twins than before. 

At the end of 2018, Switzerland’s population was 8,544,527, the Federal Statistical Office said on Friday. Foreigners made up 25.1%. This is much higher than in Austria (19.2%), Germany (16.6%), France (12.2%) and Italy (10.2%). 

In 1970, foreigners made up around a sixth of the 6.3 million population. 

Life changes 

The population’s age structure has also altered, the population statistics for 2018 showedexternal link

There are far fewer under 20s and far more over 64s than in 1950, for example. This is to do with increased life expectancy and lower fertility rates, the publication said. 

+ Want to live longer? Try Switzerland or Spain

In 1970 almost a third of residents died before the age of 65, but in 2018 this was just 13%. In all, 46.8% of people can now expect to reach at least 85 years old. 

The average number of children per woman is now 1.52 (compared with 2.1 in 1970). However, the number of multiple births has risen over the past 30 years. The proportion of twin births has almost doubled from 1% in 1970 to 1.8% in 2018. 

Another change is the number of single person households. “Since 1970, the number of single-person households has tripled and that of couples without children has doubled,” said the publication.  Single person households currently stand at 35.5%. 


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