Has this ever happened to you? To think or even dare to say out loud: “am I the only foreigner here”? Yes? No? How about this one? To think or again to dare to say out loud: “is it all foreigners around here”? Yes? No? Chances are that you have come close to experience both nowadays, wherever you are and specially in our international Switzerland. I hope any of the two remained a thought and that you did not share that thought with the world. It can be polarizing and get you in trouble either way.

Reality is that our world is more colorful and diverse than ever. The colorful is metaphorical and refers to the cultural variety that is around us. Being a number’s person, I looked for the data. Data correct personal impressions. And they are fun. Or at least it was fun when I was able with the below numbers to answer to a friend’s comment, one night at a local happening bar, after only 2 espresso martinis: “is everybody from the Balkans here or there was more vodka than espresso in my drink”?

Spoiler alert: yes, the Balkans love Switzerland.

“Most International” refers to highest percentage of foreigners (not born in Switzerland) compared to the total population.  I thought of putting only the flags but I wanted to save you time from searching them in google. Maybe next time…

international population infographic

Knowing you by now, I suspect that you want to know which are the least international in each case. The least international country globally is China. Although they have almost a million people registered, the fact that they are a couple of billion total gives them the lowest percentage globally. The least international country in Europe is Romania with less than 1 %. The least international canton in Switzerland is Uri with around 11% foreign born residents. And the least international town in Zug is Hunenberg with 16.5%.

And now to cover my friend’s question: “where are the Zug foreigners from?” Wikipedia has the answer. The usual suspects at the top and some interesting facts if you add up the regions.

zug international origin

Sources: The data about the World are from OECD and the data about Switzerland are from The Swiss Federal Office of Statistics.


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