More than 695,000 Swiss nationals living abroad

Bern, Press release, 17.02.2011

The number of Swiss nationals living abroad rose in 2010 by 10,127 to 695,101. In 2000, 580,396 Swiss nationals were living abroad. The number of persons with dual nationality has strongly increased: it has risen by 8,852 to 502,320.

At the end of December 2010, 695,101 Swiss nationals were living abroad. This is an increase of 10,127 persons (+1.5%) compared with December 2009. The main part of the increase (87%) concerns dual citizens, who acquired the Swiss citizenship by birth and naturalization. 

In 2010, the number of Swiss abroad increased especially in Europe (+6,215), followed by Asia (+1,768) and America (+1,388).  

In absolute figures for 2010, France leads with an increase of 2,356 persons, followed by Germany (1,262), Great Britain (644), Italy (549), Israel (421), Canada (320), Australia (319) and Thailand (318). The largest decreases were in Venezuela (-38), in the United Arab Emirates (-29) and Russia (-22). 

In percentage terms, Asia boasts the largest rate of increase, 4.4%, followed by Africa with 1.9%, Europe with 1.4%, Oceania with 1.3% and America with still 0.8%. In the European Union the rate of increase was 1.1%. 

Among the countries with large communities of Swiss abroad (> 10,000) Israel again comes first with a growth rate of 3.0%, followed by Great Britain (2.2%), Germany (1.6%), Brazil (0.9%), Canada (0.8%) and Australia (0.4%).   

The majority of Swiss nationals abroad – 415,517 or 59.8% - lives in member countries of the European Union. The largest community of Swiss abroad resides in France (181,462), followed by Germany (77,827), Italy (49,187), Great Britain (29,505), Spain (23,886) and Austria (14,343). Outside Europe, the largest number of Swiss nationals lives in the USA (75,252), Canada (39,186), Australia (23,076), Argentina (15,690), Brazil (14,794), Israel (14,672) and South Africa (9,071).

502,320 Swiss nationals living abroad (72%) hold dual nationality.  

135,877 Swiss nationals abroad – 25.24% of the 538,243 persons living abroad and entitled to vote – have registered with a Swiss commune to exercise their right to vote (+4.5% compared with 2009). 

The statistics include all Swiss nationals who have registered with a Swiss representation. All Swiss nationals intending to take up residence in a consular district for more than 12 months are required to register (Regulations of the Swiss Diplomatic and Consular Service of 24 November 1967; SR 191.1). 

Further information:

Publications Service for the Swiss Abroad

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Information FDFA
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CH-3003 Bern
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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs