With all of the hot politics surrounding immigration it is easy to lose sight of those moving abroad. Among Swiss citizens, one in ten lives abroad.
In 2018, 10.7% of the Swiss population was living in another country. Of the 760,200 Swiss living outside Switzerland, more than 62% were living in Europe.
France (197,400) had the largest Swiss expatriate community in Europe, followed by Germany (90,400) and Italy (49,600). Some among this group are originally from these countries and have acquired Swiss citizenship through naturalisation after living in Switzerland.
75% of Swiss abroad hold more than one nationality. For those living in France (83%) and Italy (84%) the percentages are even higher. For those in Germany (65%) and Austria (58%) the percentages are below the average.
Work and retirement seem to be the biggest drivers of emigration. 21% of the Swiss abroad (162,500) are 65 or over. In some countries, such as Thailand or Spain, this age group accounts for over 25% Swiss migrants.
Those of working age (18-64) are drawn mainly to France (112,000), Germany (52,000), the US (48,000), Italy (28,000), Canada (24,000) and the UK (21,000).