Full name of indicator: percentage of people regularly using 3,2,1 or no national language(s)
This indicator shows the proportion of people in different population groups who speak one or more national language(s). A good command of one or more of Switzerland’s national languages can be seen as both a requirement and as the result of successful integration.
Note: The actual source is concerned with the regular use of the national languages and not with the good command of languages.
From 2014 to 2016, among the population without a migration background, 86% of people aged 15 and over said they spoke only one national language, 12% had two and 2% three. In the population with a migration background from the first generation, almost one in ten people said they had no national language in their linguistic repertory. 75% of this same population group indicated one national language, 14% two national languages, and 1% three. In the second or subsequent generations, the regular use of two or three national languages is three to four times greater than the other population groups by migration status: 25% indicated two national languages in their linguistic repertory and 6% three. Fewer of them indicated only one language in their linguistic repertory.
Switzerland has four national languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh. This indicator provides the percentage of people among the permanent resident population aged 15 and over that indicated one, two, three, four or no national language(s). The three questions in the structural survey on languages are used to establish the “linguistic repertory”. These are: the main language, the language usually spoken at home/with relatives and the language usually spoken at work/in school. Dialects were not listed separately when indicated as main language: Swiss-German with German, Franco-Provencal with French, Italian or Ticino/Italo/Graubünden dialect with Italian. For the languages usually spoken at home and at work, however, they were listed separately. The respondents were able to indicate several main languages for each question. Up to three languages were taken into account as main language; no limit was placed for the two other questions.