In 2022, the population of Swiss citizens residing abroad exceeded the 800,000 mark. Around 11% of the Swiss population lives abroad. By the end of 2022 64% of the more than 800,000 Swiss nationals who were residing abroad were living in Europe
A growing number of senior citizens
21% of Swiss citizens abroad were aged under 18, 56% were between 18 and 64 years and 23% were aged 65 or over. Their number increased in all age groups by +1.6%, +0.8% and +3.4% respectively compared with 2021. As in the previous year, the most important change was recorded for senior citizens.
The most popular destination: France
France has the largest Swiss expatriate community in Europe, followed by Germany and Italy.
What developments were seen between 2002 and 2022?
With the exception of 2017, the number of Swiss citizens abroad continued to grow. Between 2002 and 2022, their number rose from 598,900 to 800,000, i.e., an increase of 34%. The development was more or less marked depending on the continent, but all continents showed an increase in the number of Swiss nationals. Asia showed the highest growth (+115%). Indeed, the number of Swiss citizens on this continent more than doubled between 2002 and 2022, rising from 25,400 to 54,600. The least marked development was observed in Africa (+7.3%). When looking at the different regions of the world, the population of Swiss citizens abroad increased in all countries in Europe, North America, North Africa and South-East Asia (+37%, +18%, +59% and +132%). In Europe, the greatest increases were recorded in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia and Turkey (Türkiye), among others. In the United States and Canada, increases of +19% and +17% were observed. In North Africa, the largest increases were seen in Algeria and Morocco, and in South East Asia in Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. Other regions of the world, by contrast, saw a decrease in their Swiss community between 2002 and 2022. Central and Southern Africa showed a decrease in the Swiss population (–24% and –10%). In both regions, most countries were affected. A similar trend could be observed in many Caribbean and South Asian countries, where a decrease in Swiss nationals was recorded.
The Federal Statistical Office website provides further information, graphics and an interactive table:
Swiss citizens living abroad
Swiss abroad in 2022 (Publication, Federal Statistical Office)