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Report confirms rising number of immigrants

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Report confirms rising number of immigrants
Citizens gather in Appenzell Innerrhoden for an annual Landsgemeinde (assembly of the people). Photo: AFP/File
19:14 CEST+02:00
Immigration is continuing to drive Switzerland’s growth in population, which rose by almost 100,000 to more than 8.2 million by the end of 2014, official government figures confirm.

The number of residents in the country totalled 8,237,666 as of December 31st, an increase of 98,035 or 1.2 percent from a year earlier, the federal statistics office (FSO) said in a report released on Thursday.

But foreigners accounted for more than six out of ten of the new residents, according to the final figures for the year issued by the office, following estimates released in April.

The number of non-Swiss in the country jumped by 61,012 to just shy of two million — 1,998,459.

That means foreigners accounted for 24.3 percent of Switzerland’s population at the end of last year.

The increase came in spite of a referendum decision by Swiss voters in February 2014 to cap immigration from the European Union, in addition to existing controls on migrants from other countries.

Italians (15.3 percent) account for the biggest group of immigrants, followed by Germans (14.9 percent), Portuguese (13.1 percent) and the French (5.8 percent).

The canton of Fribourg registered the biggest percentage increase in the population (1.9 percent), followed by Geneva and Zug (1.7 percent) and Vaud (1.6 percent).

The Lake Geneva region showed the most dynamic growth compared to the country’s other regions, with a population of more than 1.57 million people, up 1.6 percent from the previous year.

The figures are based on the population of permanent residents in Switzerland, including those with residency permits allowing them to stay in the country for 12 months or longer.

The count of residents included 1,543 centenarians, the overwhelming majority of those 100 years or older being women (1,253).

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