Jump to content
Your browser is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this websites. Learn how to update your browser[Close]


One in ten Swiss lives abroad

Lonely hearts club: the Swiss community on the island nation of Kiribati can be counted on one finger (Keystone)

Lonely hearts club: the Swiss community on the island nation of Kiribati can be counted on one finger


Almost 716,000 Swiss citizens live outside Switzerland. The trend observed for several years continued in 2012, according to figures released by the foreign ministry on Friday.

“The number of Swiss abroad has increased by 1.72 per cent, going from 703,640 in 2011 to 715,710 in 2012,” it said in a statement.

More than half of these live in Europe (442,620), with the most popular countries being neighbouring France (186,615), Germany (80,715) and Italy (50,091).

Outside Europe, the United States is the top destination, with 76,330 domiciled there. Israel is home to 15,970 Swiss – a jump of 21.44 per cent since 2007.

At the other end of the list, only one Swiss citizen lives in each of São Tomé and Principe, an island nationoff the western coast of Central Africa, Kiribati, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, and Micronesia.

“The proportion of Swiss abroad on a Swiss electoral register has stabilised at roughly a quarter of those eligible to vote,” said the foreign ministry statement.

The population of Switzerland reached eight million in 2012, but around 20 per cent of people living in the country are foreigners.

swissinfo.ch and agencies



All rights reserved. The content of the website by swissinfo.ch is copyrighted. It is intended for private use only. Any other use of the website content beyond the use stipulated above, particularly the distribution, modification, transmission, storage and copying requires prior written consent of swissinfo.ch. Should you be interested in any such use of the website content, please contact us via contact@swissinfo.ch.

As regards the use for private purposes, it is only permitted to use a hyperlink to specific content, and to place it on your own website or a website of third parties. The swissinfo.ch website content may only be embedded in an ad-free environment without any modifications. Specifically applying to all software, folders, data and their content provided for download by the swissinfo.ch website, a basic, non-exclusive and non-transferable license is granted that is restricted to the one-time downloading and saving of said data on private devices. All other rights remain the property of swissinfo.ch. In particular, any sale or commercial use of these data is prohibited.