In the third quarter of 2018, around 312,000 foreign residents commuted to work in Switzerland. In 2017 the figure was around 317,000.
This near 2% drop is the first since 2002. In 2002, there were only around 162,000 crossing into Switzerland to work, roughly half (52%) of today’s number.
The fastest growing group until 2017 was from France. The number of cross-border commuters from France more than doubled from 82,000 to around 172,000 between 2002 and 2017. Those from Italy grew from around 37,000 to 71,000 and those from Germany from around 34,000 to 62,000 over the same period.
In the third quarter of 2018, the cantons with the most foreign residents pouring into them in the mornings and out again in the evenings were Geneva (81k), Ticino (63k), Basel-City (34k), Vaud (31k) and Basel-Landschaft (22k). These five made up 74% of all international commuters.
Thirteen cantons, half of the total number, received 96% of all cross-border workers in the third quarter of 2018.
Interestingly, there were small numbers of long-distance commuters, from countries such as Finland (7 people), Sweden (8), and Greece (17). Flying times from these places are around three hours each way.