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Foreign population approaches 1.4 million

Switzerland's foreign population is gradually climbing


Switzerland's foreign population grew by just over one per cent in 2000, bringing the total number of foreign residents in the country to nearly 1.4 million.

The latest figures, released by the Federal Aliens Office on Tuesday, show that foreigners make up 19.3 per cent of the Swiss population, 0.1 per cent more than in 1999.

German nationals made up the biggest increase in absolute terms, with six percent more moving to Switzerland last year than in 1999. The number of Germans living in the country at year's end was 109,000.

Italians make up Switzerland's largest immigrant community, numbering 319,000, although their numbers dropped by 2.5 per cent compared to 1999.

The second largest group of foreigners are Yugoslav nationals. They make up nearly 14 per cent of the non-Swiss population.

Not included in the official statistics are refugees, international civil servants, seasonal workers and people allowed only temporary residence in the country.

At the end of last year there were 25,500 with official refugee status living in Switzerland, 345 more than in 1999.



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