Over a third of Geneva workers live elsewhere

More than a third of Geneva’s active working population lives outside the canton, with the majority residing in neighbouring France and the rest largely in the canton of Vaud, according to a report issued on Thursday.

Over a third of Geneva workers live elsewhere
Photo: Romano

The figures, dating from 2010, show 109,000 people working in the country’s westernmost canton lived elsewhere, the cantonal statistics office said in a report.

That's 36 percent of the total workforce of 299,000.

The report underscores the housing crisis faced in Geneva, where newcomers employed in the canton face difficulties renting or buying a home because of the low vacancy rates and high prices.

It shows that 80,000 workers from outside the canton resided in a region of France, either Ain or Haute Savoie, where housing and other costs are generally lower.

The number of commuters from elsewhere in Switzerland totalled 28,900, with 22,800 living in the canton of Vaud and almost half (13,300) from the district of Nyon.

Virtually half of the 20,700 civil servants working in Geneva’s international sector (including the United Nations and its related organizations) lived outside the canton, the report said.

Of those living outside Geneva, 8,800 were in France and 1,500 in another Swiss canton.

The report estimated the number of Swiss “frontaliers”, working in Geneva but living outside Switzerland, at 16,500.

The statistics office noted that, based on the figures already available for 2012, the number of workers commuting from outside the canton has without doubt risen since 2010.

The number of international civil servants living in France increased in 2012 to 9,200, for example, while the total number of foreign frontaliers (with G permits) rose to 65,150 in the same year from 54,400 in 2010. 

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Why Annecy is the ‘best place to live in France’ (and Switzerland)

The beautiful Alpine city of Annecy is already known to many as a stunning place to visit, but now a two year-study of quality of life indicators reveal that it is also the best place in France to live. It's no surprise that so many Swiss workers choose to live there too.

Why Annecy is the 'best place to live in France' (and Switzerland)
Annecy in Haut-Savoie is popular with workers in Switzerland. Photo: AFP

The study took in a raft of data from the French official statistics body Insee concerning safety, transport, services, health, education, leisure opportunities and commercial purchasing power and ranked 34, 841 communes in France.

And it found that Annecy was the best place to live in France, thanks partly to the high numbers of frontaliers who live there.

READ ALSO Work permits – Switzerland to introduce new rules for language proficiency certificates

Lake Annecy offers a host of watersports to locals and tourists alike. Photo: AFP

Popular as a tourist destination in both summer and winter and with second home owners, the town is also a favourite among frontaliers who live in France and work in Switzerland, as it is just a 40 minute drive to Geneva.

In fact of the people of working age who live in Annecy – 11 percent of them work in Switzerland.

This gives the town a low unemployment rate (6.2 percent) while Swiss workers, who tend to be on higher pay, find prices affordable.

The flip side of this is that prices, especially for property, are rising in the town.

But locals are still enthusiastic about its picture postcard charm and and good levels of services.

The town has lower unemployment than the French average. Photo: AFP

The survey, done by opinion pollsters OpinionWay, took data from Insee in 182 official criteria to create the list.

Towns were ranked in numbers according their size, then the overall winner of all categories as chosen.

Of the bigger towns Angers, Le Mans, Bayonne and La Rochelle scored top.

“There is no element declaring the feelings of the inhabitants,” researcher Thierry Saussez, told the Journal du Dimanche, which published the results.

“We have chosen to use 100 percent quantitative and objective data, the only way to make comparisons. Thus, the economic policies of local elected officials or hyper-local initiatives are not taken into account.”