Alicia Loretan and Philippe Wanner

The Determinants of Naturalization in Switzerland between 2010 and 2012


Naturalization is an important phenomenon for countries, not only because of its implications (it grants duties and rights to new citizens) but also because of its policy-sensitive aspect. In Switzerland, it is also a complex phenomenon because of the diversity of procedures at the canton and commune levels. Knowledge of the determinants of naturalization is still lacking. In this context, this study presents two explanatory models of naturalization in Switzerland between 2010 and 2012, using statistical data prepared in the framework of the nccr – on the move project on the inventory of individual statistical data on migration and mobility. It further analyzes their impacts on the naturalization (or lack thereof) of individuals, using binary logistic regressions. These models include sociodemographic variables, migration-linked variables, and commune-related variables. Age, employment status (particularly unemployment), length of residence, country of origin, and proportion of foreigners within the commune are the most explanatory variables of the naturalization of individuals, confirming the results of previous studies in Switzerland and abroad.