Recommended by the EU, this is an important indicator of the extent to which the population can participate in political life. Naturalisation is an expression of a person’s successful integration as a citizen. A person who has acquired Swiss nationality has all civil rights and every possibility to participate in political life. Furthermore, the gross naturalisation rate is also an indicator for people’s willingness to integrate: naturalisation assumes that the person identifies to a certain extent with and is attached to the host country. This indicator is also an expression of the host country’s practice regards integration. As far as Switzerland is concerned, its naturalisation policy is rather restrictive.
In Switzerland, the gross naturalisation rate of residence or settlement permit holders is 2%. The rate is twice as high for people born in Switzerland than for those born abroad (4% compared with 2%).
Since 2011, the gross naturalisation rate of B or C permit holders has not changed. A significant increase can however be seen among people born in Switzerland (+0.4 percentage point). In comparison with 2017, the rate has nonetheless decreased by 0.5 percentage point.
In the majority of cantons, the gross naturalisation rate of persons from the first generation (i.e. migrants born abroad) ranges from 1% to 2%. The cantons of Glarus and Aargau show the lowest rates. Conversely, with rates above 2%, persons who were born abroad residing in the cantons of Zurich, Vaud, Valais and Geneva show the highest naturalisation rates.
There is a wider range in results for the foreign population from the second or subsequent generations. The cantons of Zurich, Lucerne, Vaud, Valais and Geneva lead the way with rates of more than 4% and even as high as 7%. In contrast, with rates below 2%, compared with the national average of 4%, the cantons of Schwyz and Glarus have the lowest rates.
This indicator shows the ratio between the number of naturalisations recorded in a civil year and the number of residence and settlement permit holders at the beginning of the same civil year. It is calculated by dividing the number of persons who obtain naturalisation in year X by the number of residence and settlement permit holders on 1.1. of year X. However, this indicator provides no information on the number of rejected naturalisation applications.