EU immigration drives foreign population rise

The Local
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EU immigration drives foreign population rise

The number of foreigners in Switzerland increased 3.4 percent in 2013 from the previous year, government figures released on Thursday show.


The country’s non-Swiss population grew by 61,570 to 1,886,630 by the end of December, the federal office of migration said.

Switzerland’s total population is around 8.1 million.

The latest statistics emerge less than two weeks after Swiss citizens voted in favour of an initiative to limit immigration from the European Union by establishing quotas.

Backers of the initiative argued that too many foreigners in the country were contributing to overcrowding in cities, a hike in the cost of housing, crammed trains, increased traffic jams on highways and more competition for jobs.

Close to two-thirds of foreigners in Switzerland (1,248,726) are citizens from the European Union or the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).

The number of residents from countries in these areas rose 4.5 percent from the previous year.

The population of those from other countries increased 1.2 percent to 637,904.

The report does not identify how many non-Swiss were born in Switzerland to foreign parents.

The total number of immigrants to the country exceeded 155,000 last year, up eight percent, while just over 70,000 foreigners emigrated, an increase of 6.3 percent.

The net immigration of more than 81,000 for 2013 marked a 10.6 percent jump from the previous year.

Italians topped the list of nationalities in the country (301,254), followed by Germans (293, 156), Portuguese (253,769), French (110,190) and Kosovars (95,140).

The number of Britons reached 40,405, according the migration office.

A figure for Americans was not disclosed.


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