Poll finds Swiss divided over immigration

A majority of Swiss are not worried about a rise in immigration as a result of the free movement of people in the Schengen zone, a poll has found.

This content was published on August 21, 2011 - 11:56 and agencies

The poll published in the SonntagsBlick newspaper on Sunday found 59 per cent of respondents said immigration by European workers was not a concern, whereas 40 per cent said they were “rather” or “very” concerned. It is a particular worry for people aged over 54 and those with a basic level of education.

Around half were happy with the actual number of foreigners in Switzerland: 48 per cent said foreigners making up 22.1 per cent of the population was “good”, while 34 per cent said it was “much too high”.  

Young people and French-speaking Swiss were more open towards immigration: 56 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds and 64 per cent of French-speakers said they were satisfied with the current number of immigrants. In German-speaking parts, 43 per cent approved of the ratio.

However most of those polled (80 per cent) agreed that foreigners helped make the economy prosperous.  

The poll, carried out by the Demoscope Institute for the SonntagsBlick, questioned 1,002 people from German and French-speaking parts of Switzerland.

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