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.
Population, buildings and dwellings census 1990 and 2000
For all residential buildings identified in the National Census 2000 centroid coordinates were determined. 250 variables on population and households as well as 345 variables (auto-completed) respectively 415 variables (with missing values; see Restrictions for data dissemination and utilisation below) on buildings and dwellings have been aggregated to hectares for GEOSTAT's standard range of data.
For all residential buildings identified in the National Census 1990 centroid coordinates were determined. 160 variables on population and households and 229 variables on buildings and dwellings have been aggregated to hectares for GEOSTAT's standard range of data.
For each hectare, the coordinates of the south-west corner (bottom left) are used as an identifier. Every characteristic or numeric value shown for each cell relates to occurrences within the 100x100 m surface of this cell, i.e. the number of buildings, for example, whose central coordinates are found in the square in question. In this way they build an aggregation of the individual records from a survey that are allocated to each grid cell or hectare.
Clustering of small values to ensure data protection
For reasons of data protection, certain restrictions apply to variables from the population and household survey with regard to forwarding raw data and cartographic representations based on a measurement in hectares. To ensure data protection, absolute values from 1 to 3 are shown in standard tables as a group with the value of "3". Where their use can be justified, data that have not been grouped together in this way can be used for statistical, research and planning purposes after conclusion of a data protection agreement.
Missing precise geolocalisation in the Census 2000
To a statistically small number of inhabitants (188'120 or 2.6%), neither a dwelling nor a building could be assigned during the establishment process of the National Census 2000. These are either persons without permanent address or persons, whose economically relevant domicile could not be identified.
In order to maintain the integrity of the survey results, these persons were assigned to a so called aggregate hectare which was determined in the center of the main settlement of every commune concerned. For this reason, the sometimes significantly increased number of inhabitants concentrated on these aggregate hectares can easily have undesirable effects for small-scale analysis and may distort analysis results seriously. To enable data users to control such effects, e.g. by a weighted statistical distribution of affected persons to all populated hectares in a commune, or to simply eliminate them before doing an analysis, GEOSTAT publishes for each commune the number of affected inhabitants and the coordinates of its aggregate hectare in an auxiliary table which can be downloaded here.
Population, buildings and dwellings census 1970 and 1980
In 1970 and 1980, the Swiss communes could voluntarily participate in geocoding the buildings belonging to their territory. As a result, the geodata of theses censuses only provide information for a part of the Swiss communes representing approximately one third of the Swiss population.
A restricted selection of attributes was analyzed by hectare and are included in the available data sets. These include for both surveys the residential and working population, as well as the occupied dwellings.
|1970 census||1980 census|
|Number of communes with geocoding||750||620|
|Number of available attributes at hectare resolution||8||54|
Due to the incomplete coverage and the poor differenciation of attributes, geodata from these surveys are not much demanded anymore in recent years. They are therefore presently only available on special demand.