The total number of Swiss people living abroad has reached 591,660, an increase of just under two per cent compared to last year, according to a report from the foreign ministry.This content was published on August 7, 2001 - 16:14
The majority of Swiss expatriates live in Europe. More than a quarter of them live in France with a large number scattered across Germany, Italy, Britain, Spain and Austria.
But some have ventured further afield with 68,821 living in the United States and 19,536 resident in Australia.
Over the past 10 years, there has also been a 30 per cent increase in the number of Swiss nationals living abroad who hold a Swiss passport.
The foreign ministry believes this is a result of the simplified naturalisation procedure under which a Swiss national's foreign spouse and their children can be issued with a passport.
However, holding the much vaunted red passport with a little white cross seems to be where political ties to the mother country end. Only 17.57 per cent of Swiss nationals abroad exercise their right to vote in Swiss elections.
swissinfo with agencies
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