Stay-at-home youngsters shun other Swiss language regions

Young people celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Vaud Country Youth Federation in Savigny on July 14 Keystone / Jean-christophe Bott

Young Swiss adults prefer going on cultural, educational or professional trips abroad than to other language regions and most say they are unlikely to move from where they grew up, a survey has found.

This content was published on September 23, 2019 - 10:45

The study commissioned by the Federal Social Insurance OfficeExternal link reported on Monday that two-thirds of Swiss youngsters have moved house at least once during their lives, generally within their commune or canton, but most say they are unlikely to move abroad or to another language region in Switzerland.

This is especially the case for young French and German speakers. Almost half of Italian speakers plan to live in another language region in the small Alpine nation.

Only one-third of the young adults questioned in the ch-x studyExternal link say they would consider moving permanently to new accommodation if they were offered a job 90 minutes away. Most would prefer commuting long distance, or finding temporary accommodation during the week.

Not counting holidays, one-quarter of the young people interviewed said they had spent between 1-3 weeks in another language region or abroad, while 14% had spent over three weeks.

Over 30% said they were planning a long trip abroad in the next three years, typically to improve their foreign language skills. The most popular destinations were English-speaking countries (Britain, United States and Canada) and neighbouring countries (France, Germany, Italy and Austria).

Despite being homebirds, over half of those questioned said foreign languages and travel experiences were an asset for future employment. Almost three-quarters believe they should be offered this possibility during a training course.

The most mobile youngsters were those who had completed higher education, the study found. Factors such as family income and wealth, parents’ education levels and experience studying and working abroad had a major influence over their children’s mobility.

The insurance office interviewed 40,000 young Swiss men during their army training, and 2,000 young women for the survey. Around 80% of them were aged 18-19.

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