Structural survey

In the structural survey, a small proportion of the population is surveyed in writing. The survey complements the information from the registers and provides additional statistics on the structure of the population. The first results are available one year after the reference day. Cumulative results will subsequently be made available for the periods of three and five years.

Characteristics of the structural survey

  • information on population, households, families, housing, employment, mobility, education, language and religion;
  • sample survey of at least 200'000 people;
  • response by internet or by completing written questionnaire;
  • conducted annually with reference day 31 December;
  • geographical level: Switzerland, major regions, cantons and communes with 15'000 inhabitants and more;
  • the results can aggregated over 3 and 5 years. This allows analyses to be made at a lower geographical level or in more detail on certain topics;
  • cantons and cities can enlarge the sample.


The structural survey includes persons from the age of 15, living in a private household. The persons selected are asked to give details about themselves and their household. They are, as a general rule, not asked about the characteristics which already feature in the registers.

Since 2010, the structural survey is conducted every year. The reference day coincides with the register survey day (31 December). This allows the data from both these surveys to be combined.

The statistics based on the structural survey provide responses to questions in the following policy areas: economy, territory and transport, social security, family, education as well as gender equality and minorities. These statistics also provide important data for the Federation’s and cantons’ linguistic and religious policies.


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