Majority of Swiss want to limit immigration

In 2020, Swiss voters rejected an initiative to scrap an immigration agreement with the European Union. Keystone / Laurent Gillieron

Almost two-thirds (62%) of Swiss residents are in favour of restricting immigration, according to a survey.

This content was published on April 17, 2023

The desire to impose limits on immigration was prevalent across the political spectrum, said the survey of over 50,000 residents conducted by the Tamedia Group published on MondayExternal link. Around 93% of respondents on the right were in favour, compared with 70% of centrists and 51% of left-leaning residents. 

Those with a lower level of education were the most sceptical about immigration, while university graduates and city dwellers were the most positive. But across all income brackets, the prevailing opinion was that immigration must be restricted.

+ Does Switzerland have room for millions more people?

Of the non-Swiss residents polled, those that have been living in Switzerland the longest were more in favour of immigration quotas. Of the foreigners born in Switzerland, 67% wanted to limit immigration while only 47% of those who have been in the country for less than five years wanted restrictions. 

Demographic factors were responsible for the fact that immigration is viewed so critically by respondents, according to the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper. The permanent foreign resident population in Switzerland has increased significantly in the past year. In 2022 around 81,000 more foreigners immigrated than left the country.

The federal government said the main reason for this is the increasing demand for workers. More than a quarter of the Swiss resident population do not have Swiss citizenship.

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