Recently published data from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) show that 39% of Switzerland’s population in 2021 had a migrant background. 31% were born abroad with a different nationality and a further 8% were the children of this group.
Between 2012 and 2021, this group of first and second generation foreigners in Switzerland grew by 4 percentage points, rising from 35% to 39%.
29% of first generation migrants have Swiss nationality, a percentage that rises to 71% among those who are second generation foreigners.
40% of first and second generation migrants hold a passport from an EU or or EFTA nation. 10% hold Italian citizenship and 10% German.
In 2021, roughly two thirds of those acquiring Swiss nationality were born abroad (63%) and around a third (37%) were born in Switzerland. The largest groups were Germans (21%), Italians (11%) and French (9%).
Foreigners are more likely than natives to regularly use two or more languages. 15% of foreigners do compared to 12% of native Swiss. Second generation migrants have an even higher rate (25%) of multiple language use. Those with a migrant background are also less likely to suffer from chronic health issues (26% vs 30%) and more likely to graduate from tertiary education (38% vs 36%).
However, regarding employment, those with a migration background fair worse. Those with a migration background are more likely to be unemployed than natives (8% vs 3%).