Since 2010 the population census has been conducted in a new format. Information is taken from the population registers and complemented with random samples.
Up to 2000
From 1850 to 2000, the census provided important information every 10 years on the structure of the population, households, buildings and dwellings in Switzerland. To this end the entire population, property owners and rental agencies were sent written questionnaires.
Since 2010, the census has been conducted annually by the FSO. In order to ease the burden on the population, the information is primarily drawn from communal and cantonal population registers, the federal population register and the Federal Buildings and Dwellings register and supplemented by sample surveys. Only a small proportion of the population is surveyed in writing or by telephone.
The population census as a statistical system
Thus, Switzerland has a modern statistical system which makes it possible to observe on a continuous basis the structures and the development of the population and households, as well as of buildings and dwellings. Thanks to this population census system, economic and social change can be analysed effectively. The results cover a wide range of current topics.
The population census system reduces the burden on communes, cantons and the population. At the same time, approximately CHF 100 million can be saved compared with the traditional census.
An evaluation of the census system described above has been carried out among its main users. It revealed a high level of satisfaction. The burden on the population interviewed and on communes has been considerably reduced in comparison with the previous system. Many topics are covered and the data up-to-date. Moreover, the new solution is extremely adaptable, takes into account changing thematic needs and makes it possible to offer relevant data. Comparability at international level is also ensured.
The assessment report is available in German, French and Italian.