This indicator shows which languages people use in their personal, family and work spheres. A large number of young people not speaking a local language at home, for example, would indicate a potential need for help or support in acquiring language skills.
In Switzerland, from 2017 to 2019, 82% of the permanent resident population aged 15 and over used at least one local language at home. Among the population with a migration background from the first generation, the rate is 50% compared with 85% in the second and subsequent generations.
At work, the rate is 96%. In this context, it is highest among people with no migration background and in the population with a migration background from the second or subsequent generations, at more than 98% of the employed population. The first generation has a lower rate (90%).
In all language regions, the population without a migration background uses at least one local language at home more regularly than the population with a migration background. The largest difference is in the Romansh-speaking area (a difference of 55 percentage points), the smallest in the Italian-speaking region (a difference of 5 percentage points).
With the exception of the Italian-speaking region, the population without a migration background systematically has a significantly higher rate of people using at least one local language at work than the population with a migration background. The highest gap is again found in the Romansh-speaking region (+39 percentage points).
This indicator provides the percentage of the permanent resident population aged 15 and or over who use a local language in the private sphere as well as the percentage of the employed population who use a local language at work or school. It is based on the following questions from the structural survey: Which language(s) do you usually speak at home/with your relatives? (several answers possible)” and “Which language(s) do you usually speak at work/school? (several answers possible.)”. The following are considered as local languages at work: German, Swiss-German, Italian, Ticino/Italo-Graubünden dialect, French and Romansh. At home, the following are considered: Swiss-German, Italian, Ticino/Italo-Graubünden dialect, French and Romansh.
ContactFederal Statistical Office Section Demography and Migration
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