The issue of immigration regularly features at the ballot box in Switzerland. On February 28 voters will decide whether to back a rightwing initiative to enforce the deportation of convicted foreigners. Who are the foreign residents living in the small alpine nation?This content was published on February 5, 2016 - 10:47
- Deutsch Woher stammen die zwei Millionen Ausländer in der Schweiz?
- Español ¿Quiénes son los dos millones de extranjeros que viven en Suiza?
- Português Quem são os estrangeiros que vivem na Suíça
- عربي مليونا أجنبي يُقيمون في سويسرا.. من هم؟
- Français Qui sont ces deux millions d'étrangers qui vivent en Suisse? (original)
- Pусский Откуда родом иностранцы, живущие в Швейцарии?
- 日本語 スイスに住む２００万人の外国人の出身は？
- Italiano Da dove vengono i due milioni di stranieri che vivono in Svizzera?
Switzerland has one of the highest percentages of foreign residents in the world (24.3% in 2014). Only a few countries like Luxembourg or the Gulf States have more.
The graphic below gives a breakdown by nationality. Over 80% of foreigners living in Switzerland come from Europe. The citizens of Germany, Italy, Portugal and France together make up almost half of all foreign residents.
Switzerland is a popular destination for immigrants. In 2013, there were 20 new arrivals per 1,000 inhabitants, putting Switzerland far ahead of France (5.1 new foreign arrivals), Germany (8.4), Britain (8.2) or Spain (6).
As Swiss nationality is not gained automatically, many children born to foreigners living in Switzerland keep their parents' nationality. According to the Federal Statistical Office, as of 2014, a total of 388,700 foreign nationals resident in Switzerland were born here. They make up one fifth of the so-called foreigners.
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