More than one in ten Swiss nationals now live abroad

The Local Switzerland
The Local Switzerland - [email protected] • 28 Mar, 2019 Updated Thu 28 Mar 2019 14:04 CEST
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Just over one in ten people with Swiss nationality now lives abroad with 62 percent of them based in Europe, new figures show.

The latest figures from the Swiss Federal Statistics Office (FSO) reveal 760,200 people (10.6 percent) with Swiss nationality were registered with embassies and consulates as living overseas in 2018.

That figure is 1.1 percent up on 2017, the FSO said in a statement.

Read also: The huge foreigner-sized hole in Swiss democracy

Of this growing group, a total of 567,800 people (74 percent) also have a second nationality.

Dual nationality for Swiss citizens became legal in 1992, with Switzerland something of a pioneer in this regard.

The majority of Swiss people abroad (62 percent) live in Europe. Some 464,000 live in an EU or EFTA country and 357,000 people live in a country that borders Switzerland.

The largest groups of Swiss nationals living in Europe are in France (197,400), Germany (90,400) Italy (49,600), the UK (35,700) and Spain (23,800).

Meanwhile, 16 percent of Swiss citizens abroad live in the United States and Canada (80,400) and eight percent live in South America. The figure for Asia is seven percent while for Oceania it is four percent and for Africa it is three percent.

Around one in five Swiss nationals living abroad are aged 65 and over. Six percent are aged 80 and over.

The average of female Swiss citizens overseas is 44 and for men it is 39.

Swiss citizens aged 18 and over who are officially registered as living abroad can vote in Swiss federal elections and can also stand for election at the federal level. Some cantons also allow for Swiss citizens abroad to vote on cantonal issues.

By contrast, the more than 25 percent of the Swiss population who are foreigners cannot vote in Swiss federal elections.

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