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.
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 less than 2%).
Since 2011, the gross naturalisation rate of B or C permit holders has not changed. A small increase can however be seen among people born in Switzerland (+0.5 percentage point). In comparison with 2017, the rate has nonetheless decreased by 0.4 percentage point.
In the majority of cantons, the gross naturalisation rate of foreigners born abroad ranges from 1% to 2%. The cantons of Nidwalden and Appenzell Innerrhoden show the lowest rates. Conversely, with rates of 2% or above, persons who were born abroad residing in the cantons of Zurich and Geneva have the highest naturalisation rates.
There is a wider range in results for the foreign population born in Switzerland. The cantons of Zurich, Uri, Zug, Vaud and Geneva lead the way with rates of more than 5%. In contrast, with rates below 2%, compared with the national average of 4%, the cantons of Obwalden and Nidwalden 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.