The figures below give an indication of how foreign nationals living in Switzerland are perceived by the population. They gauge attitudes towards statements that are deliberately provocative. In so doing, they indicate the level of openness of the population, by focusing on the attitudes toward foreigners' rights and on their behaviours - both real and imaginary.
In general, the population is tolerant. 67% are against sending back foreign nationals to their country of origin when jobs become scarce, 61% are for the family reunification of foreigners who have lived for at least five years in Switzerland and 57% are for the automatic naturalisation of the 2nd generation. 47% think that foreigners should have the right to take part in politics and 52% are against that idea.
71% of the population said they disagreed with the idea that foreigners make the streets seem unsafe (+6 percentage points compared to 2016). 70% stated that the presence of foreigners in the classroom does not have a negative effect on the education of Swiss children. 70% rejected the claim that foreigners are responsible for any increase in the unemployment rate. 66% thought that foreign nationals do the work that Swiss natives do not want to do and 64% that they are necessary for the economy. The population is divided over the statement that they take advantage of social benefits: 51% reject it (+6 percentage points compared to 2016) and 47% agree with it (-6 percentage points compared to 2016).
Percentage of the population that strongly agrees, agrees, disagrees or strongly disagrees with the various statements about foreigners.
Here are a set of statements sometimes heard about foreigners living in Switzerland. Please indicate if you strongly agree, agree, disagree or strongly disagree with them.
a. Foreigners should gain political rights, for example the right to vote at communal or cantonal level. This would help with integration.
b. Foreigners born here should be able to obtain automatic naturalisation.
c. Foreigners who have lived in Switzerland for at least five years should have the right to bring their close family here, for example their spouse and minor children.
d. When jobs are scarce, foreigners who have lived in Switzerland for less than five years should be sent back to their country of origin.
e. Foreigners in Switzerland are necessary for the economy to function properly and to fund the social security system.
f. Foreigners take advantage of the social benefits system, e.g. OASI or DI.
g. Foreigners do jobs that other people do not want to do.
h. Foreigners are responsible for the rising unemployment rate in Switzerland.
i .Foreign children at school prevent Swiss children from receiving a good education.
j. If I don’t feel safe it’s because of the presence of foreigners in the street.
1. strongly agree, 2. agree, 3. disagree, 4. strongly disagree, 9. no answer. Consideration of all possible answers to statements a.-j.
Universe: Permanent resident population aged 15 to 88. Non-weighted numbers: n (total) = 3127