Immigrants make up one third of the Swiss population.
As the statistics show, the first and second generation of immigrants are today more than a third of the population of Switzerland over the age of 15, which is much more than 10 years ago. The majority of immigrants are Europeans, among whom Germans and Italians are leading (11% each). They are followed by the Portuguese and the French. In total, according to the Federal Statistical Office, in 2013 the number of Swiss citizens with foreign roots was 2.4 million with a total population of 6.8 million. In 2003, this figure was 1.7 million.
More than a third of Swiss citizens of foreign origin have a Swiss passport. 80% of them were born abroad, and only 20% in Switzerland, in families of immigrants.
Acquiring citizenship can be a long process in Switzerland and is not a guarantee for either the second or even the third generation of immigrants. But now the issue of facilitating citizenship for grandsons of migrants is being discussed.
Immigrants who do not have a relationship with the Swiss, through parents or spouse, must live in the country for at least 10 years before applying for citizenship, and also prove their knowledge of local languages, laws and customs.
The influx of foreigners has a big impact on the demographics of the Alpine republic, since immigrants are significantly younger than the Swiss. “These young people stop the aging of the Swiss population,” writes the Federal Statistical Office in its report (especially since immigrants under 15 years of age have not yet been included in the statistics).