Components of population change

In Switzerland at national level, the components of population change in the permanent resident population are natural change and net migration.

  • Natural change is the difference between births and deaths.
  • Net migration is the difference between immigration and emigration. The change from the non-permanent resident population to the permanent resident population is included in immigration and, therefore, in net migration.
Demographic balance of the permanent resident population in thousand, 2018-2022

Population on 1 January


Components of population change Population on 31 December  Variation1)
Natural change Net migration in absolute numbers
2018 8 484.1 20.8
39.9 8 544.5 60.4


8 544.5



8 606.0


2020 8 606.0 9.7 53.8 8 670.3 64.3
2021 8 670.3 18.5 48.9 8 738.8 68.5
2022 8 738.8 7.9 68.8 8 815.4 76.6
1) In the variation are included the statistical discrepancies, which include any change in the population size that cannot be attributed to demographic movements, such as births, deaths, immigration and emigration or changes in the type of population.

Time series of cross-sectional data make it possible to observe population change over more than a century. Despite declines in 1918 due to the Spanish flu epidemic and between 1975 and 1977 due to the economic recession, the population in Switzerland has more than doubled since 1900, when it reached 3.3 million. This increase reached its peak in 1961 and 1962 with average annual growth rates of more than 2%. Since 2017, population growth has been significantly lower, falling back below 1%.

Changes in the composition of Switzerland's population can be analysed using longituinal data. To represent the contribution of the various demographic factors from a longitudinal perspective, both types of population (the permanent resident population and the non-permanent population) should be taken into account. When nationality is considered, naturalisation presents a contributing factor to changes in the population of Swiss and foreign nationality.

Further information



Statistical sources and concepts


Federal Statistical Office Section Demography and Migration
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuchâtel



Our English pages offer only a limited range of information on our statistical production. For our full range please consult our pages in French and German (top right hand screen).