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Swiss numbers swell abroad

The number of Swiss living abroad has gone up by 20 per cent over the past decade, with the majority calling the European Union home, the latest statistics show.

In 2008, more than 8,000 Swiss moved abroad, taking the overall total to 676,176, the foreign ministry announced on Friday. The figure has grown by 114,620 since 1999.

The United States attracted the highest number of Swiss expatriates in 2008, followed by France, Canada, Israel and Germany.

However the Swiss community in the United Arab Emirates had the sharpest growth - 20.9 per cent more than in 2007 - while those in Serbia, Croatia, Turkey and Singapore grew by ten per cent.

Sixty per cent of Swiss nationals abroad – 405,393 - live in the European Union and the biggest communities are in France (177,598), Germany (75,439), the US (74,862), Italy (48,147) and Canada (38,200).

Of those, 71 per cent have dual nationality and 22 per cent are under the age of 18.

The statistics include all Swiss nationals who have registered at a Swiss representation abroad.

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