One-fifth of Swiss are dual-national

Italian is the most common second citizenship. © Keystone / Christian Beutler

Between 2010 and 2019, the proportion of Swiss adults with two passports increased from 14% to 19%, the latest statistics show.

This content was published on January 28, 2021 - 15:47

Just under one million Swiss adults (over the age of 15) were dual-nationality in 2019, compared with 700,000 in 2010, the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) said on Thursday.

Of these, 65% obtained their Swiss passport through a process of naturalisation, while the other 35% were born with it. Italian was the most common second citizenship (24% of the total), followed by French (11%), German (9%), then Turkish, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Though this represents an increase over the decade, the numbers of people granted citizenship sank in 2019: the 41,015 who received a Swiss passport that year amounted to a 3.2% drop on 2018.

And notably fewer people were granted fast-track citizenship, a process available to spouses of a Swiss citizen and to children of a naturalised immigrant who have lived in the country for five years. The extension of eased rules to third-generation immigrants in February 2018 also didn’t seem to have an effect: overall numbers on the fast-track dropped from 9,000 to 6,314.

Geneva counts the highest proportion of dual-nationals, with almost 50% of all residents in the canton holding two passports. In Uri and Appenzell Inner Rhoden, only around 5% have this status.

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