Dynamics of poverty

Poverty in Switzerland is mostly short-term. Between 2013 and 2016, 12.3% of the population were affected by poverty in at least one of the four years of observation but only 0.9% were affected in all four years. There were thus considerably more people affected by poverty than was shown by the annual figures.

European comparison

To enable comparisons with other European countries, the European defined at-risk-of-poverty rate is used.

Between 2013 and 2016, 23.5% of the Swiss resident population were classified as at risk of poverty at least once. The European average was 27.2%. With the exception of France (21.5%), the rates in the neighbouring countries were higher than in Switzerland (Italy: 29.0%, Germany: 28.2%; Austria: 25.6%).

Switzerland is among the countries with the lowest proportion of people at risk in the long-term. 4.2% of the population were at risk of poverty in all four years (European average: 8.1%).

Further information


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Statistical sources and concepts


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



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