Swiss baby boom boosted by immigration

Switzerland is bucking the trend in the rest of Europe with a rising birth rate bolstered by immigration, new federal figures show.

Swiss baby boom boosted by immigration
Photo: AFP/Getty Images

The number of newborns in 2014 rose to 85,287, up 3.1 percent from the previous year and the highest in 20 years, the federal statistics office (FSO) said.

The increase was largely attributable to the rise in the overall population, fed by immigration, with the number of children per woman resting stable over the past few years at 1.5 (1.54 in 2014).

The Swiss population expanded by 1.2 percent in 2014 to 8.2 million, with foreigners accounting for two-thirds of the growth.

Newborn boys (43,900) outnumbered girls (41,400) at a rate of 106 to 100.

Most children were born to married parents (78.3 percent) but the number registered outside of marriage continued to grow.

The 21.7 percent share in Switzerland compares with 23.4 percent in Poland, and is well ahead of countries such as Turkey (2.7 percent) but well behind those such as Slovenia (59.1 percent).

At the same time, the number of marriages in Switzerland rose 5.3 percent to 41,900 in 2014 from the previous year.

Since the middle of the 1990s, around 40,000 marriages have been registered annually in the country.

The number of divorces, by contrast dropped last year to 16,700 from 17,100, the statistics office said.

The number of deaths also declined by 1,9 percent to 63,900, despite the fact an increasing percentage of the population is elderly.

Average life expectancy for men in Switzerland rose last year to 81, up from 80.5 in 2013.

For women it rose to 85.2 from 84.8, although the gap in life expectancy between the sexes continued to narrow.

Last year it was 4.2 years, compared to 5.7 years in 2001.