In the first quarter of 2019, fewer foreigners immigrated to Switzerland compared to this time last year. The number of EU and EFTA citizens, in particular, has dropped. But since fewer people from this group have left Switzerland, the net migration has grown by 3.5 percent, according to the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).
In total, 33,580 people from EU and EFTA countries immigrated to Switzerland for work, compared to the same quarter of the previous year, this is a decrease of 1.5 percent.
Over 9500 people immigrated to Switzerland to be united with family members, which is 6.6 percent less than in the first quarter of 2018. 20.6 percent of these people were family members of Swiss citizens. Last year, Italians made up the largest foreign population.
At the end of March, there were 2'090'669 foreigners living in Switzerland, 1,429,482 of these were EU or EFTA nationals, and 661,187 nationals from other countries.