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EU Countries Maintain Prime Attraction for Swiss Expatriates

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There has recently been a notable trend among Swiss citizens to relocate overseas, particularly favouring Europe as their primary destination.

A report from the Swiss Federal Council indicates that by the conclusion of 2023, the population of Swiss nationals living abroad had surpassed 813,400 individuals, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

The same source notes that over the last year, an additional 13,400 Swiss citizens opted to reside outside their homeland, marking a 1.7 per cent increase compared to 2022.

Swiss citizens reside mainly in Europe, with 520,700 of the 813,400 Swiss citizens living abroad in the EU, accounting for 64 per cent of the total. France hosts the largest community of Swiss immigrants, with 209,300 individuals, followed by Germany (99,600), Italy (52,000), the United Kingdom (40,200) and Spain (26,500).

Notably, the number of Swiss nationals living abroad increased in these countries compared to 2022, with Spain experiencing the highest growth rate at 2.7 per cent, followed by France and Italy at 1.4 per cent. Despite hosting a smaller number of Swiss nationals (6,900), Portugal witnessed one of the highest increases in 2023 among EU countries, with a growth rate of 13.9 per cent.

North America Became Top Choice for Swiss Nationals

Data provided by the Council further show that outside Europe, around 292,700 Swiss citizens reside on other continents. North America hosts the largest community, with 83,700 Swiss nationals in the United States alone, accounting for one-tenth of the Swiss expatriate population. 41,500 Swiss citizens live in Canada.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, Argentina hosts the most Swiss nationals (15,100), followed by Brazil (13,600) and Chile (5,700). In addition, most Swiss citizens in Argentina have multiple citizenships.

In Asia, Israel is home to the most significant Swiss community (23,700), followed by Thailand (10,400) and the Philippines (3,600). In Oceania, Australia hosts the most Swiss nationals (26,400), while in Africa, South Africa has the largest Swiss community (7,700).

France, US, Argentina, Australia & Israel Remained as Leading Residence for Swiss Citizens

Between 2022 and 2023, there was an increase in the number of Swiss residents in France, the United States, Argentina, Australia and Israel, with the highest growth rate recorded in Israel at 3.6 per cent. However, the number of Swiss nationals in South Africa has decreased.

Based on these data, the age distribution of Swiss citizens abroad shows that 21 per cent are under 18, 56 per cent are between 18 and 64, and 23 per cent are 65 or older. The number of older adults increased by 3.9 per cent compared to 2022, with notable increases in Portugal and Thailand.

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