- Swiss (nationality)
Johann Bernoulli• Henri Dufour• Félix Vallotton• Henri Nestlé• Leonhard Euler• Elisabeth Kopp• Roger Federer• Albrecht von Haller
Swiss Alps, Swiss plateau, Jura
population = 6.5 million
pop1= 5.9 million
region2= rest of
Swiss German, Swiss French, Swiss Italian, Romansh
Roman Catholicism, Zwinglianism, Calvinism
The Swiss ( _de. die Schweizer, _fr. les Suisses, _it. gli Svizzeri) form a
nationality, and although the modern state of Switzerlandoriginated in 1848, the period of romantic nationalism, it is not a nation-state, and the Swiss are not usually considered to form a single ethnic group, but a confederacy (" Eidgenossenschaft") or "Willensnation" ("nation of will", "nation by choice", that is, a consociational state), a term coined in conscious contrast to " nation" in the ethnic sense of the term. [Dissent to the effect that the state should be re-oriented along ethnic lines is constrained to far-rightand völkischcircles such as the PNOS and remains a fringe position (held by far below 1% of Swiss citizens) in direct opposition to the letter and spirit of the Swiss Constitution.]
The Swiss have grown in number from 1.7 million in
1815to 6.5 million in 2006, 91% of them living in Switzerland. About 60% of those living abroad reside in the European Union(170,000, in France, 70,000 in Germany), the largest overseas community is in the USA(71,000).
demonymderives from the toponymof " Schwyz" (see there) and has been in widespread use to refer to the Old Swiss Confederacysince the 16th century.
The traditional ethnic composition of the territories of modern Switzerland includes the following components
*The German-speaking Swiss ("Deutschschweizer"), i.e.
Alemannic German, historically amalgamated from the Gallo-Romanpopulation and the Alemanni, including subgroups such as the Walser. "Swiss" from the 16th to 18th centuries referred to this group exclusively, and only with the expansion of the Swiss confederacy following the Congress of Viennawas the term applied to non-Alemannic territories. Closely related German-speaking peoples are the Alsatians, the Swabiansand the Vorarlbergians.
*the French-speaking Swiss ("Romands"), traditionally speaking Franco-Provençal dialects, today largely assimilated to the standard
French language( Swiss French), amalgamated from the Gallo-Roman population and Burgundians(the historical Upper Burgundy). They are closely related to the French (especially those of Franche-Comte).
*the Italian-speaking Swiss ("
Ticinesi"), traditionally speakers of Lombard language( Ticinesevariety) today mostly assimilated to the standard Italian language, amalgamated from Raetians and Lombards. They are closely related to the Italians(especially Lombardians and Piedmontese).
*The Romansh, speakers of the
Romansh language, settling in parts of the Grisons, historically of Raetic stock.
human migration, there is an increasing number of Swiss not descended or only partially descended from the core ethnic groups listed above. Naturalized Swiss citizens will be linguistically oriented according their canton of residence.
Similarly, differences between the several regions of Switzerland are increasingly levelled as a consequence of increased
mobility, so that the Swiss as a whole may be argued to be in the process of undergoing ethnogenesis.
Swiss nationality lawrequires of candidates for naturalization a minimum of twelve years of permanent, legal, notated residence and fluency in one national language as well as integration into the Swiss way of life and compliance with the Swiss rule of law.
With more than 20% resident aliens, Switzerland has one of the highest ratios of non-naturalized inhabitants in Europe (comparable to the Netherlands; roughly twice the ratio of Germany). In 2003, 35,424 residents were naturalized, a number exceeding net population growth. Over the 25 year period of 1983 to 2007, 479,264 resident foreigners were naturalized, yearly numbers rising gradually from below 10,000 (0.1%) in the 1980s to above 40,000 (0.6%) in the 2000s. [ [http://www.bfm.admin.ch/etc/medialib/data/migration/statistik/auslaenderstatistik/einbuergerungen.Par.0001.File.tmp/ts24_dez07_d.pdf Bundesamt für Migration] ] Compare the figure of 0.2% (140,795) in the
United Kingdom(2004). [ [http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs05/hosb0805.pdf Persons Granted British Citizenship, 2004 (pdf)] ]
Naturalization procedures are subject to some controversy, with left-wing positions typically ascribing the high ratio of resident aliens to overly strict requirements, and right-wing positions opposing facilitation of naturalization as an attempt to hide the high percentage of foreigners by merely nominal naturalization.
The controversy is fuelled the increasing rate of naturalizations, and by the debate on delinquent foreigners: 48.9% of those convicted under criminal law in 2003 were foreigners, amounting to a conviction rate about 3.7 times higher among foreigners than among Swiss citizens. These circumstances have led to concerned reactions ranging to the
xenophobicin popular media, notably connected with a series of severe accidents involving excessive speeding on the part of young males from former Yugoslaviain 2004 and 2005 [http://search.parlament.ch/cv-geschaefte?gesch_id=20043420] [http://www.croatia.ch/drustva/hkk/060805_de_libra_10.php] [http://www.sf.tv/sf1/schweizaktuell/index.php?docid=20040630] . Detractors of arguments based on conviction rates point out that this number is inflated by delinquent illegal aliens or asylum seekers, who are not candidates for naturalization and thus irrelevant to the debate.
The genetic composition of the Swiss population is similar to that of
Central Europein general. Switzerland is on one hand at the crossroads of several prehistoric migrations, while on the other hand the Alpsacted as a refuge in some cases. Genetic studies found the following haplogroups to be prevalent:
*mtDNA: H 28% (HV 33%), U4+U5 (14%), K (7%), J (5%) [http://www.upf.edu/cexs/recerca/bioevo/2000BioEvo/BE2000-Simoni-mtDNA-AJHG.pdf]
* [however at a local minimum [http://www.relativegenetics.com/genomics/images/haploMaps/originals/J2_large_RG.jpg] ]
Demographics of Switzerland
List of Swiss people
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