Expenditure and debt

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At a glance

In the financial statistics, the debt of the general government, i.e. the consolidated government units, and thus also the debt ratio are determined in accordance with the Maastricht definition which applies for the EU member states. The debt ratio skyrocketed during the 1990s and peaked at 48.9% in 1998. This increase was attributable mainly to federal debt. The Confederation's debt ratio has fallen continually since the introduction of the debt brake for the Confederation in fiscal 2003. The debt ratios of the individual sub-sectors have likewise been reduced since 2003 thanks to sometimes high surpluses. The Maastricht debt ratio dropped below 40% of GDP in 2006 and was 30.0% in 2015.

Public administration debt (1)
GFS model 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Public administration in CHF million 2 191'730 193'448 198'919 196'379 192'693
Confederation 105'415 104'854 102'537 98'236 92'693
Cantons 45'887 47'548 54'076 54'881 56'199
Communes 40'672
42'332 43'304 44'510 45'119
Social insurances 6'250 4'418 3'713 2'640 2'556
Per capita, in CHF 23'850 23'766 24'147 23'583 22'886
As % of gross domestic product (GDP) 30.6 30.3 30.6 30.0 29.2
1) Consolidated accounts of the Confederation, of the cantons and regions, of the communes and social security administrations, Maastricht debt, at nominal value as defined in HAM2
2) Total, after removal of double counting between public administrations.
Source : Federal Finance Administration (FFA)
Last update: September 2017

Further information





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



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