In 2015, Switzerland’s population rose by 1.1%, slower than in the previous two years, reaching a total of 8,327,100, an increase of 89,500. Increases in 2013 (+1.3%) and 2014 (+1.2%), were slightly higher.
While the increase was largely due to immigration, the net effect of births and deaths, or natural growth, also added to the population in 2015. This contrasted with natural declines across much of EU in countries such as Germany, Greece, Italy and Portugal.
Nine cantons grew faster than the Swiss average of 1.1%. Zug (+1.7%), Vaud (+1.6%) and Geneva (+1.5%) led the way. Neuchâtel (+0.4%) and Graubunden (+0.4%) grew at the slowest rates. Uri, the most Swiss of cantons, was the only canton to see its population shrink. Uri is the home of the legendary William Tell. Legend also has it that a group of freedom-loving men swore an oath of allegiance on the Rütli meadow on the shore of Lake Lucerne in the canton of Uri. Uri’s total population fell 0.1% to 35,973.
In 2015, 188,500 people moved to Switzerland from abroad, while 116,000 left, a net inward migration of 71,900.
The number of foreign residents continued to climb, passing the level of 2 million in 2015, reaching 2,048,700 people, 24.6% of the resident population. The largest foreign populations are Italians, Germans, Portuguese, French and Kosovars. Together these groups make up 54% of foreign permanent residents.
Cantons with the largest foreign populations are Geneva (41%), Basel City (35%) and Vaud (34%). Obwalden, Jura, Nidwalden, Uri and Appenzell Innerrhoden all have foreign populations under 15%.
- 7-step guide to getting a Swiss passport (Le News)
In 2015, 40,700 or 2.1% of foreigners with permanent residency applied for Swiss citizenship, 23.9% more than in 2014.
Full statistics from the Swiss Statistics Office
For more stories like this on Switzerland follow us on Facebook and Twitter.