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Almost half the Swiss population dream of emigrating

    Bern (ots) - Nearly half of Switzerland's population has toyed with the idea of emigrating. Men dream slightly more often of moving to warmer climes than women, and the German and French-speaking Swiss do so a little more than their Italian-speaking counterparts. These are some of the most significant findings of a survey commissioned by swissinfo/Swiss Radio International (SRI), which also revealed that Australia is by far the most popular destination for potential emigrants. Details of this survey can be accessed on www.swissinfo.org from Monday, 18 February onwards.

    Recent years have seen an increase in the trend among the Swiss to emigrate; one in ten Swiss now lives abroad. So what do the Swiss think about emigrating? Which countries attract them most? Why do people want to leave Switzerland? The answers to these questions can be found in a representative survey of 2,359 Swiss which was commissioned by swissinfo/Swiss Radio International (SRI) and conducted in January by the Link Institute. The survey produced some surprising results.

    The dream of flying away . . .

    Forty-five percent of those surveyed have already dreamed of settling abroad - men a little more often than women. The inhabitants of the mainly Italian-speaking canton of Ticino (39%) are clearly not as keen on the idea as their French-speaking compatriots in the west of Switzerland (44%) or those in the German-speaking region (46%). People in employment, the better educated and those earning higher incomes (48%) tend to consider emigrating more readily than people who are not in employment, those without formal training or those on lower incomes (38%). There is also a notable difference in attitude between Internet users and non-users. Of Internet users surveyed, 54% said they would like to emigrate, whereas 65% of non-users had no desire to leave their homeland.

    ... to far-flung lands

    Australia tops the list as the most popular destination for would-be émigrés. Fourteen percent - many of whom are young couples without children - favour Australia over other countries. The second most popular destination is the United States: 11% of those surveyed - often people without any occupational training - fancied starting a new life on the other side of the Atlantic. Following closely on the heels of the USA comes Canada, with 10% making it their destination of choice. European countries appear not to have the same pulling power and come lower down the list: Italy (8%), Spain (8%) and France (7%).

    And how do those who want to emigrate envisage life in their new homeland? Twenty-seven percent expect to find a different mentality, while 21% hope for a more positive feeling about life and a better quality of life. And 18% voiced positive thoughts about nature and the climate, as well as professional and financial opportunities.

    Portraits from Australia

    From Monday, 18 February, details of the survey can be found on www.swissinfo.org. To coincide with this, swissinfo/SRI will be starting a six-part series featuring Swiss men and women who have settled in Australia. The multimedia news and information platform will present portraits of Swiss citizens, from a banker through to a nutrition consultant and a farmer, who are now living far from home.

    swissinfo/Swiss Radio International (SRI)

    Swiss people living abroad are the prime target audience of swissinfo/Swiss Radio International (SRI). The multimedia swissinfo/SRI news und information platform - www.swissinfo.org - provides information about Switzerland in nine languages (English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Japanese and Chinese), not only for the Swiss abroad, but also for non-Swiss who are interested in Switzerland. In addition, the platform offers a wide range of services to users: a comprehensive collection of Swiss-related links, geographical maps, a free e-mail address (http://freemail.swissinfo.org), and an information service that provides answers by e-mail to questions of all types about Switzerland (www.swisshelpdesk.org).

ots Originaltext: swissinfo/ Swiss Radio International (SRI).
Internet: www.newsaktuell.ch

Contact:
Christine Dudle-Crevoisier
Head of Communication & Marketing
Mobile +41/79/358'06'30
E-mail: christine.dudle@swissinfo.ch



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