Swiss dream of life down under

The Sydney skyline has the Swiss dreaming of new lives far from home Keystone Archive

Nearly half of all Swiss have considered moving abroad, and Australia is their first choice, a swissinfo/Swiss Radio International poll shows.

This content was published on February 18, 2002 - 11:27

The survey, conducted in January by the LINK Institute, reveals that 45 per cent of the 2,359 people polled have toyed with the idea of leaving Switzerland to start a new life elsewhere.

Fourteen per cent - including many young couples without children - favoured taking a trip Down Under, while 11 per cent preferred the United States. Next in line came Canada, followed by Italy, Spain and France.

Lure of the Outback

André Faivet, the Swiss Ambassador to Australia, cites a number of reasons for the lure of the land of the kangaroo and koala. High on his list are the warm climate, vast open spaces and sea - all absent in Switzerland.

Faivet also highlights the lifestyle, "anglo-saxon mentality" and Australian zest for life. "On the job side, it is also possible to make a new start," he adds. "Many Swiss have built up successful businesses here in Australia."

But the statistics suggest there are significant differences of opinion between French, German and Italian speakers - and between men and women.

Itchy feet

Swiss men are more likely to be consumed by wanderlust. Residents of canton Ticino appear to have the least itchy feet, with only 39 per cent confessing to have considered leaving Switzerland for good.

In German-speaking Switzerland, however, the figure rises to 46 per cent, while 44 per cent of French speakers admitted they had thought of packing their bags.

Of those who expressed a desire to emigrate, 27 per cent said they hoped to gain a different outlook on life, while 21 per cent thought a move overseas would lead to a better quality of life.


In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

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