Nine out of ten Swiss citizens live in Switzerland. A tenth has a residence status abroad, either temporary or permanent. These are the Swiss abroad. They are part of the Swiss nation and they have rights and duties in their home country.
They live in France or in Singapore, in the USA, in Ghana or in New Zealand. There is no country in the world where there aren’t any Swiss. And one rarely finds a country which has a higher percentage of its citizens abroad than Switzerland.
Over 746,000 Swiss are registered at a consular representation abroad (2013). And the number is rising annually. In the past three decades the number of Swiss abroad has doubled. In 1950 each 20th Swiss citizen lived abroad, today it’s already each 10th.
The Swiss abroad can be seen as the 3rd biggest Canton. Only Zurich and Berne have more inhabitants of Swiss nationality.
Almost two thirds of the Swiss abroad live in Europe. Our five neighbouring countries accommodate almost half of the Swiss abroad; about 190,000 live in France alone. Every fourth Swiss abroad lives in the USA.
Globally interrelated, Switzerland relies on its diaspora and the international mobility of its citizens. Familiarity with other cultures and internationally linked, Swiss abroad are of a unique importance to their homeland regarding knowledge, experience, access and connection. In the homeland they act as external viewers. When abroad they take on an important role in shaping the image of Switzerland.
Swiss abroad have been able to register to vote or to stand for election since 1992 on a national level. An increasing number of Swiss citizens abroad make use of this political right. Over 142,000 have registered in a Swiss voting register.
Our citizens abroad are closely connected to their homeland frequently, often through many generations. Easy travelling conditions and modern communication brings the Swiss abroad and their homeland closer to each other. The Swiss have been increasingly aware of the Fifth Switzerland and its representatives in the home country as well as the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad.
|Organization of the Swiss Abroad||http://aso.ch/de/information/statistik|
|Swiss path "Weg der Schweiz"||http://www.weg-der-schweiz.ch/en/|
|Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA||http://www.eda.admin.ch|
Organisation of the Swiss Abroad