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Head count Swiss population tops 8.5 million

Canton Geneva had the highest proportion of foreign residents (40%) in 2018.

A festival in Geneva's Grottes district. Canton Geneva had the highest proportion of foreign residents (40%) in 2018.

(© Keystone / Martial Trezzini)

Switzerland’s population increased slightly to 8.5 million last year, according to provisional data from the Federal Statistical Office. 

A total of 8,542,300 people were living in Switzerland at the end of 2018, an increase of 58,200 (+0.7%) compared to the end of 2017, the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) reported on Tuesdayexternal link

All cantons saw small increases, except for Neuchâtel and Ticino. Canton Schwyz had the highest population growth (+1.2%). The small national increase follows a decade of annual population growth above 1%.

Last year, a total of 171,700 foreigners moved to Switzerland, while the number of people emigrating also rose to 126,200, made up of 31,800 Swiss nationals and 94,400 foreign nationals. 

Net migration (+45,500 people) – the difference between people entering and leaving the country - continues to decline slightly (-1%). Natural population growth - the difference between births and deaths – also fell by 8.9% to +18,600 individuals. 

The Swiss population comprises 6,395,300 Swiss nationals (74.9%) and 2,147,000 foreign nationals (25.1%). Canton Geneva had the highest proportion of foreign residents (40%) while canton Appenzell Inner Rhodes had the lowest share of foreigners  (11%).

Dual nationals Geneva: Switzerland’s most cosmopolitan canton

New statistics underline Geneva’s status as the most international canton: almost two-thirds of residents have a foreign passport.

Keystone SDA/sb

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