Social situation, well-being and poverty

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In focus

Unequal distribution of income

Is the standard of living in Switzerland, measured in terms of income, one of the highest in Europe? Are the differences in income between rich and poor greater in Switzerland than in its neighbouring countries? To what extent do government transfers compensate for inequalities?  

Poverty in Switzerland and Europe

How many people in Switzerland are poor or at risk of poverty? Which population groups are most affected? Where is Switzerland situated in relation to its European neighbours in this regard? 

Material deprivation in Switzerland and Europe

What type of material deprivation faces the population living in Switzerland? What share of the population cannot afford one week's holiday away from home? Which population groups are most affected? What is the situation in other European countries?

At a glance

Key indicators for the economic and social situation of the population
Description Indicators Source, Year
Percentage of total income received by the poorest 20% of the population Switzerland: 8.4%
Austria: 8.5%
France: 8.7%
Germany: 8.4%
Italy: 6.6%
SILC 2017
Poverty rate 8.2% SILC 2017
Poverty rate of persons in employment 4.3% SILC 2017
At-risk-of-poverty rate 15.0% SILC 2017
Percentage of persons living in a household unable to afford one week's holiday away from home at least once a year Switzerland: 8.5%
EU-28: 30.0%
Austria: 14.2%
France: 23.1%
Germany: 15.3%
Italy: 43.0%
SILC 2017
Percentage of persons aged 16 and over very satisfied with their current life (9-10 on a scale of 0-10) Switzerland: 38.5%
EU-28: 21.6%
Austria: 37.9%
France: 16.1%
Germany: 25.0%
Italy: 14.2%
SILC ad-hoc Module 2013: Wellbeing
Percentage of persons living in a household with many difficulties to make ends meet (value 1 on a 6-point scale where 1 means [very difficult] and 6 [very easy])    Switzerland: 3.2%
EU-28: 7.7%
Austria: 4.5%
France: 4.1%
Germany: 2.1%
Italy: 8.6%
SILC 2017

Further information




Press releases


Statistical sources and concepts

On this topic

Inequality of income distribution

Analyses on inequalities in income distribution

Poverty and material deprivation

Information on poverty in Switzerland according to different concepts: absolute and relative poverty, material deprivation

Middle income group

Part of the middle income group and burden of compulsory expenditure: progression since 1998; quality of life of the middle income group in 2013


Federal Statistical Office Section Social Analyses
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuch√Ętel



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