In January 2022, Switzerland’s population stood at 8.74 million people, according to the Federal Statistical Office.
However, by the beginning of July, 100,000 more people were registered in Switzerland, government data shows.
This upward trend toward the 9-million mark got a major jolt after February 24th, when Russia invaded Ukraine, causing a massive westward exodus of Ukrainians fleeing the war.
While Ukrainian refugees constitute the bulk — 60,000 people — of this growth spurt, 32,700 immigrants from other countries also came to Switzerland in this period, along with 6,800 asylum seekers. By the end of the year, 200,000 are expected.
The 200,000 immigrants is pushing Switzerland’s population close to the nine million mark. While this has not yet been reached, it could potentially be cracked before the end of the year.
Who exactly are these foreign nationals?
They are predominantly citizens of EU / EFTA nations, mainly from Italy, Germany, Portugal and France.
While third-nation citizens don’t constitute a large immigrant group because their residence and employment in Switzerland is subject to a quota system, Switzerland also has a sizeable population from Kosovo, as well as from the UK — about 40,000 people for the latter.
As far as asylum seekers are concerned, the additional 6,800 who came to Switzerland this year are, as is the case of nearly 15,000 already here, mostly from Afghanistan, Turkey, Eritrea, Algeria, and Syria.
The Swiss government expects that 80,000 more Ukrainians will come to Switzerland this year.
Taking into account net migration — that is, the difference between immigration and emigration — 60,000 more people will swell the ranks of Switzerland’s population by the end of the year.
This doesn’t mean, however, that everyone presently here or expected to come, will remain in Switzerland long-term.
The government expects Ukrainians to return home once the war is over, though the date of the ceasefire or the number of refugees who will actually go back is hard to predict.
In regards to asylum seekers, statistics indicate that 22 percent of applications are rejected, which means some applicants will not be living here long-term.