Immigration to boost population increase

One in four people in Switzerland will be over the age 65 by 2030 Keystone

The Swiss population is expected to reach the eight million mark by 2030, an increase of nine per cent, mainly as a result of immigration.

This content was published on April 26, 2007 - 12:58

The Federal Statistics Office predicts significant regional differences as people move away from cities into outlying regions with easy access to the centres.

According to the forecast, two cantons – Zug in central Switzerland and Fribourg in the west - will record the biggest growth, with a population increase of more than 20 per cent.

Meanwhile the population in Basel City will drop by 6.5 per cent. Glarus and Uri in central Switzerland are also set to lose residents, while all the other cantons will increase in size.

Published on Thursday, the report says urban and tourist areas – including Basel City, Ticino and Graubünden - will have the highest influx of foreigners.

Rural cantons close to large urban areas will benefit from inter-cantonal migration. More people living in Geneva and Basel City will move to other cantons, the report says.

"People aged 35 to 50 are moving to rural areas because they have families and want more space or a house," Raymond Kohli of the Federal Statistics Office told swissinfo.

He added that economic reasons would influence migration among the country's 26 cantons.

Fewer births

Zurich will remain the most populous canton, and the only one with more than a million inhabitants. Bern and Vaud will be the next biggest.

Only five cantons - Zurich, Fribourg, Zug, Vaud and Geneva – will have more births than deaths.

According to the report, the number of people aged 65 and over will increase from the present 16 per cent to 24 per cent by 2030.

Elderly people in Appenzell Outer Rhodes will make up nearly 30 per cent of the population, the highest percentage in Switzerland, while only one in five will be aged over 65 in Geneva.

The considerable rise in the number of elderly people, coupled with a drop in the number of young people, is expected to have repercussions for education, health provision, work, social security and the number of homes.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

Switzerland 2005

Resident population 7,459,100
Female-male ratio 1:0.96
Age group size
0-19 21.9%
20-39 27.3%
40-64 34.8%
65+ 16%
Foreigners 20.7% of total population
Population growth 0.6%
Number of children per woman 1.42
Number of divorces per 100 marriages 53.1

End of insertion

In brief

By 2050, one person in four resident in Switzerland will be aged over 64, according to the likeliest scenario put forward by the Federal Statistics Office.

Last summer the federal office announced that the Swiss population was ageing more quickly than anticipated. From 2025 the number of deaths is expected to outstrip that of births.

Despite more women in work, the working population (4.2 million at present) will drop from 2019.

Switzerland currently has a population of 7.5 million. By 2036, the population should reach 8.2 million, before dropping to 8.1 million in 2050.

End of insertion

Articles in this story

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Sort by

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Almost finished... We need to confirm your email address. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.

Discover our weekly must-reads for free!

Sign up to get our top stories straight into your mailbox.

The SBC Privacy Policy provides additional information on how your data is processed.