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National Science Foundation Study shows Germans feel well integrated in Switzerland

The number of German citizens also holding a Swiss passport has risen from 1,290 in 2007 to 4,800 in 2016

(Keystone)

Most of the 300,000 Germans living in Switzerland are happy with their professional and personal situations and feel well integrated, a study has revealed. One-third of those surveyed imagine returning to Germany in the future, NZZ am Sonntag reports. 

Around 1,500 Germans move to Switzerland every month to work or study, according to a Swiss National Science Foundation study cited in Sunday’s NZZ am Sonntag. This is down from the 2007-2009 peak of around 3,000-3,500 a month. 

“The majority of Germans feel very happy in our country,” researcher Ilka Steiner from the University of Geneva told the paper. She has been analysing the motivation and aims of 3,000 German immigrants who have moved to Switzerland since 2002. 

The main reasons behind Germans’ positive outlook are their professional situation and salary, the high quality of life and economic stability in Switzerland. Negative aspects include low tolerance in society, the difficult housing market and limited childcare facilities. 

“However, only one out of three Germans imagine leaving Switzerland,” Steiner said. 

Despite Swiss media occasionally focusing on alleged hostility towards Germans in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, most German immigrants say they feel well integrated, the study found.  

Statistics reflect this trend. The paper reported that the number of mixed marriages between Swiss and German nationals had risen from 1,219 twenty years ago, to 2,239 in 2016. Many more Germans also hold a Swiss passport: the number has risen from 1,290 in 2007 to 4,800 in 2016. 

Most German immigrants to Switzerland are aged 30-39, the SNF study found. The majority live in cantons Zurich, Aargau, St Gallen, Thurgau and Basel. Two-thirds are married or live with their partner, but only one out of three couples has children. 

Around 70% of Germans surveyed have full-time jobs, with one-third holding managerial-level posts. Around 90% of those taking part in the study said they travelled several times a year back to Germany. 

swissinfo.ch/sb

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