Attitudes towards foreigners

Xenophobia refers to negative attitudes towards foreigners. It is usually based on stereotypes. The xenophobia index captures the disagreement or agreement with this attitude.

The average value of the index measuring xenophobic attitudes is 2.1 in 2022, on a scale from 1 (disagreement with the attitudes) to 4 (agreement with the attitudes). The fact that the average value of the index over the 2016-2022 period is close to 2 indicates that the population rather disagrees than agrees with these attitudes.

Rights, obligations, roles and behaviours

Used to construct the index measuring xenophobic attitudes, the results below indicate how foreign nationals living in Switzerland are perceived. By gauging attitudes towards statements that are deliberately provocative, they show the level of openness of the population. The statements focus on the interpretation of foreigners’ rights and behaviours – may they be real or imaginary.

The population is generally willing to granting more rights to foreigners living in Switzerland, especially a right to family reunification (70% in favour).

The proportion of the population who thinks that foreign nationals should be allowed to bring their close relatives to Switzerland increased by 9 percentage points between 2018 and 2022.

In general, the population shows openness towards foreigners living in Switzerland.

More than three quarter disagree with the idea that foreigners make the streets seem unsafe, but also with the idea that, at school, foreign children have a negative effect on the education of Swiss children. The same proportion rejects the claim that foreigners are responsible for any increase in the unemployment rate.

Further information




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



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