Switzerland is in 3rd place in the OECD in terms of the share of immigrants in its population, with the foreign-born accounting for 26% of the total population. 24% of them arrived in the last 5 years compared with 22% on average across OECD countries. The foreign-born population is on average as educated as across OECD countries, with 32% of highly educated compared with 31% across OECD countries. 57% come from an OECD high-income country and 31% from a country with the same official language.

75% of the foreign-born population are employed (83 and 67% of men and women, respectively), which is higher than the OECD average. The foreign-born population is less likely to be employed than their native-born counterparts. This discrepancy is partly driven by differences in age and educational distributions. After accounting for these differences, the gap between the two groups tends to get wider for both men and women.

Native-born offspring of immigrants represent 10% of the 15-34 population. They have on average lower educational attainment than the offspring of the native-born (with 31% of them highly educated compared with 40% of the offspring of the native-born). They are  less likely to be employed than the latter and differences in educational attainment account for 137% of the differences between the two groups.



Infomation on the figures by topic:

The selected country appears dark blue, the OECD average light blue (click here if you cannot visualise these figures)

Topic Definition
Housing Immigrants living in a suitably-sized dwelling, %, 2009
Income Annual equivalised disposable income, USD, 2008
Health Foreign-born adults reporting to be in good health, %, 2009
Education Mean reading score of native-born children of immigrants, points, PISA 2009
Employment Employment rate of the foreign-born population (15-64), %, 2009-10
Skill matching Highly educated immigrants (15-64) in highly skilled jobs, % of highly educated immigrant employed, 2009-10
Naturalisation Persons naturalised in 2010 as a % of the foreign population in 2009


Foreign-born population
2 millions
26.3 % of total population
Foreign-born population (15-64)
  Switzerland OECD average
Recent immigrants
  24% 17%
Highly educated
  32% 31%
From an OECD high-income country
  57% 28%
From country with same official language
  31% 27%