Switzerland: a country of dual nationals?

Every fifth Swiss has dual nationality. In Geneva, it's almost half of the population. Swiss public television, SRF took a closer look at why residents with foreign passports are keen on becoming naturalised. (RTS/

This content was published on October 21, 2018 minutes

This summer, during their winning game against Serbia during the World Cup, Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka, two players on the Swiss national football team, made hand gestures symbolising the double-headed eagle of the Albanian flag. This controversial act launched a wide-reaching debate in Switzerland over dual nationality. In fact, most players on the national team are citizens of two countries - as is every fifth Swiss. 

According to figures released by the Federal Statistical Office in September, the dual nationality rate exceeds 20% in the cantons of Zurich, Basel City, Ticino, Vaud and Neuchâtel. The cantons with the lowest proportion of Swiss citizens with a second passport are Bern, Uri, Schwyz, Obwalden, Nidwalden, Appenzell Inner Rhodes and Appenzell Outer Rhodes, which do not exceed 10%. 

Among the dual national population, 64.4% obtained Swiss nationality by naturalisation, while 35.6% had it at birth. The non-Swiss nationality most prevalent among dual nationals is Italian (24.7%), followed by French (11.2%) and German (7.8%). 

A total of 45,000 people were naturalised in Switzerland in 2017: 2,000 more than the previous year. 

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