Expat community continues to grow

Last year, 703,640 Swiss citizens lived abroad – an increase of 1.2 per cent on 2010, according to latest foreign ministry figures.

This content was published on February 17, 2012 - 14:27

They account for almost ten per cent of the total Swiss population and live mainly in European Union countries.

The Swiss community in neighbouring France accounted for 26.1 per cent, ahead of Germany on 11.2 per cent and the United States with 10.8 per cent.

Three out of four expats have dual nationality, according to a statement.

Of the roughly 546,000 expats who are entitled to take part in votes and elections in Switzerland, more than 26 per cent – or 143,288 people – exercise their civil rights. It marks an increase of more than five per cent on the previous year.

The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad said the figures showed the need for electronic voting on a broad scale.

Trials with e-voting have been underway for several years and in January the organisation launched a petition urging the authorities to speed up the introduction of online voting.

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