The Swiss population is growing continuously and features high levels of immigration and emigration. People from rural areas are increasingly moving to urban centres.

People crossing a street.
Most people in Switzerland live in the cities and surrounding areas. © FDFA, Presence Switzerland

More and more people now live in Switzerland. In the past 100 years, the population has more than doubled, with much of the increase due to immigration. The country has one of the highest proportions of foreign residents in Europe, at 25%. This further reinforces the multicultural character of Switzerland.

However, growing numbers of Swiss people are also moving abroad: over 10% of the Swiss population now live outside Switzerland. The majority of the Swiss population now live in cities and their surrounding areas.

Population – facts and figures

More women than men live in Switzerland and couples now marry 6 years later than they did 50 years ago.

Urban and rural areas

Most of the Swiss population live relatively close together in the Central Plateau, with the five largest metropolitan areas accounting for almost half of the total population.