A third of Swiss residents have migrant background

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Nearly 38% of permanent residents were of migrant origin in 2019 (2.7 million), up 1.3% on the previous year, says a report from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) released on Tuesday. More than 80% of them were born abroad and belong to the first generation of migrants (2.2 million people). The rest were born in Switzerland and therefore, are considered second generation migrants (520,000).Thirty-six percent have Swiss nationality. The most common foreign nationalities are Italian (10%) and German (10%).

The survey found that the first generation of migrants tend to do less well on the labour market, with an unemployment rate (7%) almost three times higher than the non-migrant population (less than 3%). As for the second and subsequent generations, they tend to do better, but still lag behind the non-migrant population.

However, the FSO says migration status cannot be considered the sole explanation for the differences between these groups, since factors like age and education may also help explain them.

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