Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland with a population of over 380,500, an increase of 19,500 since year 2000. 1.1 million People live in Zurich agglomeration, while there are 1.9 million in the metropolitan area. By 2008, 31% of the city’s population was made up of non-Swiss from a total of 166 different countries, all of whom help to make up Zurich’s multi-cultural character. 10% of all foreigners who move to Switzerland come to the City of Zürich, emphasizing its central role as an economic hub. Germans make up the largest group with 27,870 living in the city, followed by Italians 13,598 and Serbia and Montenegro with 10,245. The current variety and quality of the cultural offer in Zurich is most impressive. The city’s cultural spectrum was marked in the 1970s by the opera house, theatre, art gallery, concert hall and various cinemas, but over the past 25 years it has taken on an almost unbelievable life of its own. Zurich has centres and niches for the avant garde and the unconventional from every sector of culture. The city’s old town along the lake and the Langstrasse area are characterised by the wide variety of bars and restaurants.
In the Zurich-West former industrial area, where steel-workers once manufactured turbines and machinery, there are now any number of clubs and discos, as well as galleries (the Lowenbrau art zone) and modern theatre productions (the city theatre’s Schiffbau-Halle) in what has become a thriving district. The City of Zurich regularly occupies the top spots in rankings of cities based on quality of life, and with good reason. It has attractive working and residential areas that are filled with greenery and have good access to the lake, rivers, hills and forests. Additionally noticeable progress has been made over the past two decades in terms of environmental quality. Zurich is not just a clean city, it is also a safe one, thanks to the trust that locals have in the forces of law and order and which can also be attributed to various measures implemented by the city. Surveys tend to show that the Zürich population enjoys a high feeling of security.