Swiss abroad grow to 10% of the total population

Asia fastest growing area for them, but Europe remains home to most

A young Swiss attracts attention in China, one of the growing number of Swiss heading to Asia (photo, Liam Bates)

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Swiss living abroad now make up more than 10 percent of the Swiss population, growing to 703,640 in 2011, with 62 percent of them living in Europe and 97 percent of those living in European Union countries.

France has the largest Swiss community, 183,754, accounting for about one-quarter of all the Swiss abroad. Germany has 79,050 and the US 75,637.

Three of four Swiss nationals living abroad have dual nationality.

The population abroad increased by 8,517 or 1.23 percent in 2011.

Asia saw the greatest growth, 4.49 percent, to 1,861 Swiss persons. Swiss living in the Americas grew by only 0.27 percent, or 462 persons.

The Federal Foreign Affairs Department notes that “this year for the first time the statistics on the Swiss abroad were centrally collated in Bern using a new computer programme of the Consular Directorate of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. In the past, the embassies and general consulates gathered the statistics for Swiss nationals registered with them and transmitted the information to the FDFA, which then calculated the total. The new procedure has increased the efficiency and precision of the statistics.”