Switzerland’s population rose by 90’600 in 2016, more than the population of the city of Luzern or the combined populations of the cities of Nyon, Neuchâtel and Yverdon.
The 1.1% increase brings the number of permanent residents at the end of 2016 to 8,417,700. If this growth rate of 1.1% were extrapolated forward on a compounding basis, Switzerland’s population would double in 64 years1.
The increase in 2016 was due to net birth-death related growth of 21,100, and net immigration, which added 75,5002. In 2016 there were 85,700 births and 64,600 deaths. On the immigration front 192,700 arrived in Switzerland, while 117,200 departed. 24,400 Swiss citizens were among those arriving and 30,600 Swiss among those who left, resulting in net emigration of 6,200 Swiss citizens. The remaining 168,300 arrivals were citizens of other countries. 86,700 foreigners left Switzerland across the year, resulting in a net inflow of 81,600 foreigners.
The percentage of foreigners in Switzerland stood at 24.9% at the end of 2016.
Cantons with the greatest rises in population were Aargau, Zug and Vaud, which all saw their populations grow by 1.5%. Neuchâtel and Appenzell-Innerhoden, which grew at 0.2%, saw the slowest growth. Geneva (1.0%), Valais (1.0%), Bern (0.9%) Zurich (1.4%) and Basel-City (0.6) were all in the middle.
Switzerland’s population continues to age. 18.1% of the population is over 64, while there are 29 people over 64 for every 100 working-age people – aged between 20 and 64. 15 cantons exceed the national dependency ratio of 29, with Ticino in the lead on 37 per 100. The canton with the lowest dependency ratio (24.5) is Fribourg. The foreign population is on average younger than the Swiss population.
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Evolution of the population 2016 – Swiss Federal Statistics Office (in French)
1 1.1% at a compound annual growth rate for 64 years equals growth of 101 percent
2 This figure includes the movement in the non-permanent resident population. For this reason this figure and that for net births-deaths together do not equal the total permanent population increase of 90,600.