More foreigners and fewer naturalisations
Switzerland continues to be a multifaceted land due to immigration (Keystone)
The number of non-Swiss living in Switzerland rose slightly in 2012 to 1.825 million, a three per cent increase over 2011, the Federal Migration Office reported on Friday. Foreigners continue to make up roughly 20 per cent of the population.
The increase was primarily attributed to migration by citizens of the 27 European Union countries, with a 4.1 per cent increase over 2011, to a total of 1.2 million.
There were 630,000 people from non-EU countries living in Switzerland at the end of 2012, 0.9 per cent more than at the end of 2011.
In 2012, 144,000 foreigners moved into Switzerland, and 66,000 left the country. There were 20,000 foreigner births and 6000 deaths.
The biggest group of foreigners in Switzerland are Italians (294,000), followed by Germans (285,000), Portuguese (238,000), French (104,000) and Serbians (95,000).
The number of foreigners who were granted Swiss citizenship in 2012 was markedly lower than the number in 2011. In 2012, 34,000 foreigners became Swiss citizens, a decrease of 7.2 per cent.