Swiss Abroad

Image of people celebrating the Swiss national holiday abroad
Celebrating the Swiss national holiday in the UK in 2012. © FDFA, Presence Switzerland

President of the Swiss Confederation Guy Parmelin: National Day 2021 greetings for the Swiss abroad

© WBF /

According to the Statistics on the Swiss Abroad compiled by the Federal Statistical Office, in 2020 around 776,300 Swiss citizens were registered with Swiss representations abroad. The Swiss community abroad has grown in recent years. If it were a canton it would be Switzerland's fourth largest in terms of population.

  The graph shows the development of the proportion of Swiss nationals living abroad over the last 20 years. The proportion of the Swiss abroad in the total Swiss population was 9.1% in 1999, 10.1% in 2009 and 10.7% in 2019.
Percentage of os Swiss citizens living abroad of all Swiss citizens © FSO AS – STAT

Both the number of people emigrating and the type of emigration have changed. More and more Swiss nationals are moving to a foreign country for a limited period of time to subsequently return to Switzerland or to move to another foreign country. 

Increasing international mobility has created complex needs with repercussions for the services provided by the FDFA and the work of Swiss representations abroad. The FDFA supports mobility, assists Swiss citizens wishing to move abroad or return to Switzerland, and provides information for Swiss citizens abroad. In order to safeguard the rights and obligations of the Swiss community abroad set out in the Swiss Abroad Act and enable Swiss citizens abroad to stay in touch with Switzerland, the FDFA has modernised and optimised its comprehensive range of services worldwide.

Statistics on the Swiss Abroad


Every year, the Federal Statistical Office publishes, in cooperation with the FDFA, the latest figures on Swiss nationals living abroad.

Statistics on the Swiss Abroad 


Spotlight on the Swiss community abroad

The Swiss community abroad and the Confederation

Issue no. 62 and e-dossier no. 63 of Politorbis contain background information and a wealth of interesting facts about Swiss emigrants

Consular services

Switzerland’s representations abroad offer nationals residing abroad a range of consular services.

Voting and electoral rights

How Swiss citizens abroad can exercise their political rights

Organisation of the Swiss Abroad

The centre of expertise for questions concerning Swiss citizens living abroad

Swiss Review

The magazine for Swiss citizens living abroad provides regular information on changes in Swiss legislation and current affairs in Switzerland

Swiss schools abroad

Multilingual and multicultural Swiss education abroad