Swiss community abroad crosses the three-quarter million mark

Bern, Press releases, 25.01.2016

The number of Swiss citizens living abroad that were registered at a Swiss representation in a foreign country on 31 December 2015 numbered 761,930. In 2014 the number was only 746,885. This is a further increase of 2 per cent – or 15,045 persons in exact figures – as can be seen by the latest Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA statistics on the Swiss abroad.

The number of Swiss citizens living abroad continues to grow by slightly more than 2 per cent each year, almost twice as much as the domestic population of Switzerland. This reflects a trend that the FDFA's Relations with the Swiss Abroad Division has observed for many years. Asia saw the largest increase again last year, recording 3.5 per cent. In absolute figures however the highest growth rates continue to be in Europe with France (+ 4,173) and Germany (+ 2,103), which also have the largest Swiss communities abroad, coming top. Significant increases were also registered in the United States (+ 1,522), the United Kingdom (+ 1,216), Israel (+ 744), Austria (+ 486) and Thailand (+ 420).

Even if almost two-thirds of Swiss nationals living abroad reside in Europe, there is hardly a country in the world where a Swiss person has not put down roots. The Swiss abroad bring Swiss values and culture to over 200 countries worldwide. However six out of ten Swiss nationals abroad live in the European Union with around three-quarters of them based in countries directly neighbouring Switzerland. The largest community by far is in France (198,647) followed by Germany (86,774). Further down the list are the United States (80,218), Italy (51,556), Canada (39,869) and the United Kingdom (33,745). Palau, Kiribati, Turkmenistan, and São Tomé and Principe are at the bottom of the list, hosting one Swiss national apiece.

Almost three-quarters of Swiss nationals living abroad have dual or multiple citizenship. The growth in the Swiss community abroad can also mainly be attributed to dual nationals registering for the first time, whether in relation to moving, birth or naturalisation. The number of dual nationals who registered in 2015 was almost seven times that of those with only Swiss citizenship.

Further information:

Swiss nationals abroad

Statistics on the Swiss abroad 2015(pdf, 70kb)
Graphs incl. annotations(pdf, 542kb)

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Information FDFA
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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs