Swiss population – facts and figures

The main driver of demographic growth in Switzerland over the last few decades has been migration. At the same time, Swiss towns and cities have seen an influx of people from rural parts of the country.

People crossing a street
© FDFA, Presence Switzerland

  • The resident population of Switzerland has risen from 3.3 million in 1900 to 8.4 million today.
  • The resident population grew by 1.1%.
  • At 25%, Switzerland has one of the highest shares of foreigners in Europe. The resident foreign population currently stands at 2 million.
  • The share of the population living in urban centres has risen from 36% in 1930 to 85% today.
  • The Swiss population has aged considerably over the course of the 20th century. The share of over-64s has risen from 5.8% in 1900 to 18.1% today.
  • There are marginally more women than men in Switzerland. Currently, women make up 50.4% of the total population.
  • The average fertility rate in Switzerland is 1.5 children per woman.
  • The Swiss have one of the highest life expectancies in the world: 81.5 years for men and 85.3 years for women.
  • The average age at which the Swiss first marry continues to rise – from 26.5 years for men and 24.1 years for women in 1970 to 31.8 years and 29 years today.