Adapted migration status for measuring integration 

To measure integration, the basic typology of the population by migration status is slightly adapted: the population with a migration background includes all foreign nationals (including third generation foreign nationals). This population also includes first generation naturalised Swiss citizens, second generation naturalised Swiss citizens with at least one parent born abroad and Swiss nationals from birth, both of whose parents were born abroad.

In 2022, 40% of Switzerland's permanent resident population aged 15 or over had a migration background. While 32% were first generation, 8% belonged to the second or subsequent generations. These are the populations for which integration in Switzerland’s society is to be measured.

Permanent resident population aged 15 or over, by migration status, adapted to measure integration, 2022
  In thousand In %



Population without a migration background



Population with a migration background1



1st generation



2nd or subsequent generation



Persons whose migration status could not be established



1) Includes 3rd or subsequent generation foreign nationals Source: FSO- Swiss Labour Force Survey (SLFS)

Two other population typologies

The migration status of the permanent resident population cannot be deduced from all statistical sources used to measure integration as they do not all provide the necessary variables for its construction. We therefore have to use:

- The typology based on place of birth;

- The typology based on nationality.

In 2022, 31% of the permanent resident population were born abroad and 26% were foreign nationals. These two percentages are thus lower than the share of persons with a migration background (40%).

System of integration indicators

The FSO provides a system of indicators on integration of the population with a migration background, which comprises around forty indicators, divided into eight areas of life. This system of indicators allows us to compare the situation over time of the population with a migration background – first generation or second or subsequent generations – with that of the population without a migration background.

The migration status typology is relevant to observe the integration process and is recommended by Eurostat for this purpose. However, migration status alone cannot explain the differences between these population groups. Other variables such as sex, age and educational attainment must also be taken into account.

Find out more about this system by clicking the link integration indicators.

Further information



Switzerland actively pursues a policy that encourages integration and co-existence of the various population groups. The article 4 of the Foreign Nationals and Integration Act (FNIA) states that integration should enable foreign nationals who are lawfully resident in Switzerland for the longer term to participate in the economic, social and cultural life of society.

Under Article 53 FNIA, the principles to encourage integration aim to:

  • create favourable regulatory conditions for equal opportunities and the participation of the foreign population in public life;
  • encourage in particular foreign nationals to develop their language skills and other basic skills, to advance professionally and to take preventive health care measures;
  • support efforts that facilitate co-existence and mutual understanding between the Swiss and the foreign population.

While the law refers to the legal criterion of nationality, other factors and categories are involved in the integration process as it occurs in the community. Acquiring Swiss citizenship guarantees equality in terms of rights, but not necessarily in terms of opportunity.



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).