Population, buildings, dwellings, persons

Developed from 1850 onwards and fundamentally re-designed in 2010, the Swiss system of population censuses is the data source of all published geodata on population, households, buildings and dwellings at the geographical resolution of one hectare (surface area of 100x100 m).

A population census was conducted by paper questionnaire every ten years from 1850 to 2000, for the whole population of Switzerland. The results enabled a description of the demographic, spatial, social and economic development of the country. From 1970 geocoding of the questionnaires or the recorded buildings took place. This was done initially on a voluntary basis (1970 and 1980) and from 1990 became compulsory and on a nationwide basis.

The new population census system based on data from the population and building and dwellings registers, provides since 2010 annually updated, diverse statistical information on buildings, dwellings, households and persons. As before, selected characteristics from the extensive data stock are analysed at hectare resolution and transformed into geodata, which is then made available.

Because the population censuses on questionnaire basis and the register-based surveys from 2010 onwards differ not only methodically, but also regarding the number und definitions of collected attributes available for the production of geodata, the different data options and articles are described in detail on the following web pages:  


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