More European go Swiss

10th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

The number of foreigners living in Switzerland rose 2.9 percent in August compared to a year ago, with the rise driven by arrivals from European countries.

As at August 31, 2011, 1.751 million foreigners were living in Switzerland, making up 22.3 percent of the country's seven million population.

The population of Europeans grew fastest, rising 4 percent from a year ago. As a result, some 1.29 million inhabitants now living in Switzerland originate from the 27 member states of the European Union, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

The population of non-Europeans also grew, but by just 0.8 percent to 621,663.

The fastest growing nationalities were German with numbers rising 14,395, Portuguese up 9,816, and French increasing by 4,388.

The number of Kosovo citizens also grew by 17,864, although the sharp rise was due to former Serbians who have changed their nationalities. The jump in the registered Kosovo citizens was coupled with a decrease of 19,100 Serbians in Switzerland.

Italians make up the biggest foreign community in Switzerland with 289,555 people, followed by the Germans with 272,906 and Portuguese with 220,446.

© 2011 AFP

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