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Right-wing party wants a cap on resident Swiss population

Lucerne station
© Keystone / Urs Flueeler

The Swiss People’s Party has decided to launch a people’s initiative that will severely restrict immigration once the population crosses 9.5 million.

Party delegates unanimously approved the launch of the so-called “sustainability” initiative entitled “No Switzerland of 10 million” at a special meeting in Küssnacht am Rigi on Saturday. A people’s initiative allows citizens to put an idea on any topic to national vote, as long as they collect the requisite 100,000 signatures within a period of 18 months.

The goal of the People’s Party’s proposed initiative is to oblige the Swiss government to immediate curtail requests for asylum and family reunification once Switzerland’s population exceeds 9.5 million, at the latest. The Alpine nation had a resident population of 8.8 million at the end of 2022. 

+ Does Switzerland have room for millions more people?

The proposed initiative also requires that the Swiss population should not exceed 10 million before 2050. Otherwise, the government will be required to revisit international agreements, including the free movement of persons with the European Union and a potential United Nations pact on migration.

Last year saw 190,500 people moving to Switzerland, a 15% increase on the previous year, according to the Federal Statistical Office. With emigration numbers rising only slightly to 120,400, net migration (the difference between arrivals and departures) thus climbed by 43.5% to 70,100.

In 2022, Switzerland registered 24,500 asylum-seekers, which was 64% more than the previous year. This figure does not include some 75,000 Ukrainian refugees, who received a special protection status through an accelerated registration process.


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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR