In 2018, 7.9% of the Swiss population i.e. approx. 660‘000 people were affected by income poverty.

The groups most affected were persons living alone or in single-parent households with minor children, persons with no post-compulsory education and those living in households where no-one works.

Compared to the previous year (8.2%), the poverty rate has not changed significantly. Between 2007 and 2013, the poverty rate fell from 9.3% to 5.9%. However, since 2014 (6.7%) it has risen again. In the same period, the disposable income of the lowest income group (lowest 10% of the income distribution) has decreased.

As substantial changes have been made to the SILC methodology, from 2014 the values of all indicators can no longer be directly compared with those of previous years.

Poverty line

In 2018, the poverty line was on average CHF 2293 per month for a single person and CHF 3968 per month for a household with two adults and two children under the age of 14.

Poverty of employed persons

In 2018, 3.7% of all employed persons in Switzerland were affected by poverty. This corresponds to 135,000 persons.

The income of employed persons is largely determined by the form of work and work conditions. The following groups were particularly affected by poverty despite being employed:

  • persons who worked for only part of the year
  • persons who worked mainly part-time
  • self-employed persons
  • persons with a temporary contract
  • persons employed in small businesses
  • persons with irregular working hours

No clear trend can be observed in the evolution of the poverty rate of employed persons over time.

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Statistical sources and concepts


Federal Statistical Office Section Social Analyses
CH-2010 Neuchâtel
+41 58 463 64 21



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