How many migrants leave Switzerland over time?

MMI 10

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Each group of foreign nationals displays different characteristics in terms of length of stay in Switzerland.

Of the immigrants who arrived in Switzerland in 1998, the proportion who left the country after fifteen years is extremely high (over 75%) among persons from Sweden, Japan, the United States, and China. The lowest rates (fewer than 10% left the country) are found among those from Kosovo, Serbia, and Sri Lanka, who generally arrived in the context of family reunification.

Among the main immigration groups in 1998, 61% of Germans, 53% of Italians and 33% of Portuguese migrants left Switzerland within fifteen years of their arrival. However, the rate of departures of EU citizens is higher for those who arrived after Switzerland ratified the bilateral agreements, specifically the agreement on the free movement of persons. The later has, thus, contributed to an increased international mobility.

Source: Swiss Federal Statistical Office, Central Register of Foreigners (1998–2007), SYMIC Register (2008–2010), STATPOP statistics (2010–2014)

Note on the methodology: The proportions of people who left Switzerland were calculated for the 1998 cohort, i.e. foreign nationals who arrived in Switzerland during 1998 and were still in the country on 31 December of that year (with the exception of those who arrived seeking asylum). For each nationality, the proportions of leavers were calculated by dividing the number of people no longer residing in Switzerland at the end of one year by the total number of people who immigrated in 1998: this means that the proportions can increase or decrease from one year to the next depending on the number of arrivals in and departures from Switzerland.

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