Land Use Statistics 1972

Already for several decades, Swiss land use statistics provide precise and detailed information on the current status and development of land use and land cover in Switzerland. They are an important basis for monitoring land use and for developing indicator systems. In addition to statistical tables, the results of the land use statistics are also available as geobasis data in hectare resolution.

In contrast to the random sample surveys of the land use statistics conducted since 1979/85, the 1972 land use statistics was based on the dominance principle. The most up-to-date national maps available at the beginning of the 1970s were used, as a basis for the re-cataloguing of land use throughout Switzerland, at a scale of 1:25,000 (Swiss Central Plateau) and 1:50,000 (mountain regions). The rectangular coordinate grid (1x1 km) built into the maps was overlaid with another grid with a mesh size of 100 m (hectare grid). The sole or predominant land use was defined and saved for each grid unit formed in this fashion, (dominance principle).

The 12 following types of use were distinguished in the process::

Categories of the land use statistics 1972
1 Wasteland
2 Rivers
3 Lakes
4 Forest
5 Pastures
6 Meadows, arable land, orchards
7 Vineyards
8 Settlements with high building density
9 Settlements with medium building density
10 Settlements with low building density
11 Transportation facilities
12 Industrial facilities

As the 1972 land use statistics was created on the basis of a very different survey methodology in relation to previous and subsequent land use surveys, and as it used its own classification with differently defined types of land use, a direct comparison and a description of trends over time is not recommended.


Federal statistical office Section Geoinformation
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuchâtel
+41 58 463 68 35

Monday to Friday
09.00–11.30 and 14.00–16.00