Foreign nationals living in Switzerland continue to rise

By the end of December 2022, 2,241,854 expatriates were permanently residing in the Swiss Confederation - In first place were Italians, followed by Germans, Portuguese and French
© CdT/Gabriele Putzu
Dina Aletras
16.02.2023 04:00

Owing to strong demand increase in the labor market, net immigration in the foreign permanent resident population in 2022 rose by 19,819 people compared to 2021, to 81,345 people. There was a significant increase in the number of foreign workers (+26 percent). Emigration has remained stable. At the end of December 2022, 2,241,854 foreign nationals were permanently residing in Switzerland.

In total, immigration in the foreign permanent resident population in 2022 increased by 20,886 people (+14.8 %) compared to 2021. Immigration from the EU/EFTA increased by 19,523 people (+20.6 percent) to stand at 114,393 people. Immigration from non-EU countries rose by 1,363 people (+2.9 percent) to stand at 48,042. These figures reflect the positive economic growth trend as well as the stable political-economic framework in Switzerland. At the same time, 73,736 non-nationals who were permanently residing in Switzerland left our country (-656 people compared to 2021).

As a result, the migration population balance of the permanent foreign resident population (difference between immigration and emigration, including some statistical corrections) increased by 19,819 people and stood at 81,345 people. The balance of migration of EU/EFTA citizens grew by 17,019 people to 52,882, and that of third-state nationals increased by 2,800 people to 28,456.

In 2022, immigration with a view to gainful employment as part of a short-term stay or long-term stay stood at 166,919 people, of which 76,286 workers entered our country for short-term gainful employment (up 15 percent) and 90,633 workers entered for long-term employment (up 26 percent). The increase in long-term stays is due to demand from businesses in the services, industry and construction sectors. In services, the sectors with the largest increases are those that traditionally have large numbers of immigrants, namely planning, consulting and IT, hotels and restaurants, and trade and health. This demand trend reflects the dynamic recovery of the Swiss and foreign economies and the recovery effects after the coronavirus pandemic.

Family reunification accounted for 26.5 percent of permanent immigration. 43,026 people entered Switzerland as part of family reunification (up 7.4 percent from 2021), 16.5 percent of whom were family members of a Swiss citizen. Stays for training or continuing education accounted for 10.4 percent of permanent immigration in 2022 (16,827 people).