Immigration boosts population

A labour accord with the European Union has prompted an increase of more than one per cent in the number of people residing in Switzerland.

This content was published on August 28, 2008 minutes

By the end of last year the permanent resident population in the country had reached nearly 7.6 million.

The Federal Statistics Office said on Thursday the increase of about 85,000 people in 2007 is the strongest annual demographic growth since the early 1990s.

The favourable economic situation and a growing number of immigrants from EU countries are the main reasons for the higher figure.

More than 165,000 people moved to Switzerland, while 90,000 left the country.

Labour restrictions for citizens of member states of 17 countries belonging to the EU and the European Free Trade Association (Efta) were lifted in June 2007.

Non-EU member Switzerland has concluded a series of bilateral accords with Brussels notably on trade, labour, transport, security and asylum over the past eight years.

The statistics office said a slightly higher birth rate also contributed to the population increase.

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