In 2019, 8.7% of the Swiss population i.e. approx. 735,000 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 (7.9%), the poverty rate has not changed significantly from a statistical point of view. 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, the values from 2014 can no longer be directly compared with those of previous years.
In 2019, the poverty line was on average CHF 2279 per month for a single person and CHF 3976 per month for a household with two adults and two children under the age of 14.
Poverty of employed persons
In 2019, 4.2% of all employed persons in Switzerland were affected by poverty. This corresponds to 155,000 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 part-time
persons with a temporary contract
persons employed in small businesses
No clear trend can be observed in the evolution of the poverty rate of employed persons over time.
Special attention is given to the question of poverty of employed persons. In fact, paid work is considered a way to reduce the risk of being affected by poverty.