Small increase in Swiss living abroad in 2020

Gallic attraction: a quarter of all Swiss abroad live in France. Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

The number of Swiss citizens living beyond the country’s borders increased again last year, slightly. Almost two-thirds of the Swiss abroad live in Europe, particularly in France.

This content was published on March 30, 2021 minutes

The Federal Statistical Office (FSO) said on Tuesday that in 2020, the number of Swiss abroad increased by 0.7% to 776,300. The trend upwards is less pronounced than in previous years (+1.4% in 2019, +1.1% in 2018). More than one in 10 citizens lives outside the Alpine nation.

The FSO did not clarify how many of these held dual-nationality (which Swiss citizenship allows for), but in 2018, almost three-quarters of the Swiss abroad held two passports.

Some 207,375 of these expats are registered to vote in Switzerland, the FSO said.

Kai Reusser/

Some 63% or 490,800 of them live in Europe, notably France (200,900), followed by Germany (94,600), Italy (50,200), the United Kingdom (37,700) and Spain (24,500).

The biggest communities outside Europe are in the US (81,300), Canada (40,600), Australia (25,700), and Israel (21,400).

Globally, last year’s total increase in numbers was driven largely by rises in Europe (+1.4%) and Oceania (+0.7%); other continents saw slight drops in Swiss abroad numbers.

Last year, 22.2% (+2.8%) of expat citizens were aged 65 or older while young people under the age of 18 made up 21.1% of the diaspora.

When it comes to centenarians, the Swiss abroad are well-endowed: they make up some nine out of every 10,000 people, compared with two per 10,000 back “home”.

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