Neuchatel, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – Switzerland’s resident foreign population continued to grow in 2008, but the makeup of it shifted, a reflection of stronger ties with the European Union (EU). The total foreign population was 1.64 million on 31 December 2008, of which 1.03m came from the EU and Efta (European Free Trade Association). The increase from EU and Efta countries was 6.8% while only 0.4% from other countries.
Several countries’ citizens fell in numbers: Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovinia, Croatia, Sri Lanka and Turkey.
Permanent residents in Switzerland were 20.8% of the total population of some 7.4 million people, according to the most recent official figures, from December 2007.
French-speaking cantons had steady growth in the numbers of foreigners in 2008:
- Vaud has 198,199 for 29.4% of its population, a 5.9% increase
- Valais 59,661 for 19.8% of the population, a 6.8% increase
- Neuchâtel 40,322 for 23.7%, a 5.9% increase
- Geneva 147,095 for 34.9%, a 5.4% increase
- Jura 8,331 for 12.0%, a 2.8% increase
Ed. note: The figures, which come from the federal Office for Migration, do not include international organization employees or their families, holders of short term work permits and refugees. The federal statistics office, which also gathers population change figures, includes diplomats, international workers and their families.