Emigration today

Emigration today

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Today, 762,000 Swiss people live abroad – over 10% of the national population – and this figure rises by 2% each year on average.


Two-thirds of expatriates live in Europe. Current emigration is primarily explained by growing international mobility in many sectors of the economy. It is generally short-term. However, beyond job-related reasons, the decision to live abroad can also be explained by a taste for adventure, study, love or the desire to enjoy one's retirement elsewhere.


The attachment of the Swiss Abroad to their homeland is stronger than ever, evidence of which is their desire to exercise their political rights. They have been able to cast postal votes at federal level since 1992. Around 148,000 citizens abroad are registered on a Swiss electoral roll and regularly take part in voting. That is the equivalent of the electorate of cantons such as Ticino, Valais and Thurgau.


Far from their native country, the emigrants preserved their Swiss traditions and demonstrated an even keener desire to maintain links with their homeland. They often founded colonies whose Swiss character was reflected in names such as New Glarus in the United States and Berna in Argentina.


Statistics on the Swiss Abroad as at 31.12.2015 in German or French.






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