The 751,800 Swiss citizens who live outside Switzerland are spread over almost 200 countries, although almost half reside in neighbouring France, Germany and Italy.
The proportion of women among the Swiss living abroad increased by nine percentage points last year to 54.5%, with the figure reaching more than 60% in Greece and Italy, according to figures published on Thursday by the Federal Statistical Officeexternal link. Men made up a clear majority in Asia.
In addition, 21.5% of the Swiss community abroad is aged under 18, compared with 17.7% in Switzerland.
The so-called Fifth Switzerland, as the Swiss abroad community is known, would thus be the country’s fourth-largest canton behind Zurich, Bern and Vaud. Whereas the Swiss resident population is 8.4 million, around seven million people – including the Swiss abroad – have Swiss citizenship.
This is the first year the Federal Statistical Office has published the Swiss abroad data. Previously it was the responsibility of the foreign affairs ministry.
Since 1996, when around 540,000 Swiss lived abroad, the figure has increased by around 12,000 people each year.