2016 statistics on the Swiss abroad

Almost 775,000 Swiss citizens were living abroad as at 31 December 2016 according to statistics published by the FDFA.


In a press release issued from 1 March 2017, the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) indicated that the total number of Swiss abroad rose to 774,923 in 2016 with an increase of 21,784 persons (+2,9%) compared to 2015.


At the end of 2016, 10% of the Swiss population was residing abroad. The total number of Swiss expatriates now represents Switzerland’s third largest canton after cantons Zurich and Bern and before canton Vaud.


Figures by continent and country

For the ninth consecutive year, Asia saw the greatest percentage rise in Swiss citizens abroad in 2016 (+4,3%) followed by Europe, America, Oceania and Africa. In absolute terms, it is Europe which has seen the greatest rise with 14,530 more persons followed by America and Asia. Almost 62% of the Swiss abroad, 482,194 persons exactly, therefore live in Europe.

France still has the largest Swiss expatriate community with 200,730 persons or 25.9% of the total number of the Swiss abroad. Germany has the second highest number of Swiss expatriates (89,390) followed by the US (81,075).


Need for the rapid introduction of e-voting

The number of Swiss registered on electoral rolls to perform their civic duties is 158,419. A quarter of our compatriots of voting age is therefore registered on the rolls to exercise their political rights. The rapid introduction of electronic voting that meets the security requirements is therefore needed for our diaspora to ensure they are not prevented from exercising their civic duties due to the late arrival or errors with the sending of official documents.


Statistics 2016 of the Swiss abroad (only in German)


Press release of the FDFA