Jan 18, 2013 – 15:53 SWISSINFO.CH
Almost 716,000 Swiss citizens live outside Switzerland. The trend observed for several years continued in 2012, according to figures released by the foreign ministry on Friday.
“The number of Swiss abroad has increased by 1.72 per cent, going from 703,640 in 2011 to 715,710 in 2012,” it said in a statement.
More than half of these live in Europe (442,620), with the most popular countries being neighbouring France (186,615), Germany (80,715) and Italy (50,091).
Outside Europe, the United States is the top destination, with 76,330 domiciled there. Israel is home to 15,970 Swiss – a jump of 21.44 per cent since 2007.
At the other end of the list, only one Swiss citizen lives in each of São Tomé and Principe, an island nation off the western coast of Central Africa, Kiribati, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, and Micronesia.
“The proportion of Swiss abroad on a Swiss electoral register has stabilised at roughly a quarter of those eligible to vote,” said the foreign ministry statement.
The population of Switzerland reached eight million in 2012, but around 20 per cent of people living in the country are foreigners.
swissinfo.ch and agencies