Integration

In 2017, over 37% of the permanent resident population of Switzerland aged 15 or over had a migration background. While 30% belonged to the 1st generation, over 7% were part of the 2nd generation. This population represents the population for which integration into Swiss society is to be measured.

To measure integration, the reference typology of the population by migration status is adapted slightly: The population with a migration background includes all persons with foreign nationality (including 3rd generation foreigners). This population also includes 1st generation naturalised Swiss citizens, 2nd generation naturalised Swiss citizens with at least one parent born abroad and Swiss nationals from birth both of whose parents were born abroad.

Two other population classifications

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. It is thus necessary to use:

- Distinction by place of birth;

- Distinction by nationality.

In 2017, nearly 30% of the permanent resident population were born abroad and 25% were foreign nationals. These two percentages are nonetheless lower than the share of persons with a migration background.

Discover the system of integration indicators, which aims to provide an independent statistical database on the integration of the population with a migration background. Click here: link to the integration indicators

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Definitions

There is no clear definition of the concept of integration. However, three central aspects may be identified. Integration aims to:

- create equal opportunities and ensure equal treatment, giving everyone a fair chance to participate in political and societal decisions and guaranteeing everyone equal access to society’s resources;

- reduce the gap in living standards between different groups of society;

- guarantee, as a precondition for equality of opportunity and reducing the gap in living standards, that the host society is welcoming towards the migrant or foreign population.

Swiss legislation states that integration must enable foreign nationals staying in Switzerland legally and for an extended duration to participate in the country's economic, social and cultural life. Integration is a slow process requiring input and effort from both the migrants (at individual level) and the host society, aiming to create equal opportunities between Swiss and foreign nationals within Swiss society.

Contact

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

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https://www.bfs.admin.ch/content/bfs/en/home/statistics/population/migration-integration/integration.html