Foreign residents – home improvement?

More than a fifth of Switzerland’s almost eight million inhabitants are foreign, including 280,000 Germans and 75,000 Americans. Do sizeable foreign presences strengthen or weaken countries? Can the Swiss learn from their foreign neighbours and vice versa? What’s the situation like where you live?

This content was published on July 10, 2012 - 11:00

Some key facts

85.2 per cent of Switzerland’s permanent foreign resident population are of European origin, more than two thirds of whom are nationals of an EU or Efta member state.

The largest group of foreigners are Italian (16.3%), followed by nationals of Germany (14.9%), Portugal (12%) and Serbia (6.9%).

An increasing number of foreigners come from further abroad. The proportion of non-European nationals has doubled since 1980 to reach 14.8 per cent today.

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