Attitudes towards target groups

Hostility refers to a feeling of enmity towards a person or an attitude of opposition towards a group. Hostility indices capture the disagreement or the agreement with this attitude, when it is directed towards one of three following target groups: Muslims, Black people and Jewish people.

The average values of the indices measuring hostile attitudes are of 1,8 (Black people and Jewish people) and 1,9 (Muslims) in 2022, on a scale from 1 (disagreement with the attitudes) to 4 (agreement with the attitudes). This shows that the population disagrees rather than agrees with hostile attitudes, meaning that the attitudes are overall more positive than negative.


By recording opinions or stereotypes used to construct the hostility indexes, the figures below provide information on the attitudes of the population towards Muslims, Black people and Jewish people.

Less negative stereotypes of Black people

Among those who gave their opinion about the stereotypes ascribed to the target groups, 24% think the stereotypes of Jewish people apply strongly, respectively 22% concerning stereotypes of Muslims. Approval drops to 17% in the case of negative stereotypes about Black people. These figures indicate that preconceived stereotypical perceptions of Black people are more favourable than those of the other target groups.

Low rejection of stereotypes of Muslims

With regard to Muslims, the comparatively strong agreement with negative stereotypes (22%) is accompanied by a low refusal to stereotype (6%). In contrast, the proportion of the population that rejects stereotyping Jewish and Black people is higher (14%).

High refusal to rank the groups

In the majority of cases, the population’s assessment of Muslims, Black and Jewish people is a positive one. The proportion of persons agreeing with the statement that Muslims, Black or Jewish people are just like anybody else (soft refusal to rank) is at 93% and 95% according to the target group.

Strong refusal to rank less frequent when it comes to Muslims

The proportion of persons strongly agreeing with the statement saying that the target group is like any other group is smaller with regard to Muslims (72%). This indicates that preconceptions regarding Muslims are less favourable than those regarding Black people and Jewish people (80%).

Overview 2022
  Muslims Black people Jewish people
Hostility 1.9 1.8 1.8
Refusal to rank (soft)
93% 95% 93%
Refusal to rank (hard) 72% 80% 80%
Refusal to stereotype 6% 14% 14%
Agreement with  stereotypes 22% 17% 24%

Focus 2017: Racism against Black people

By means of daily life situations, the figures below show whether the population perceives certain behaviours towards Black people to be racist and measure the extent to which the definitions of racism are shared by the population.

Hover the mouse pointer over the dots in the interactive graph above to display the labels for the situations.

45% of the population identifies racist behaviours in all the situations reflecting so-called "old" or "traditional" forms of racism

17% of the population identifies racist behaviours in all the situations reflecting so-called "new" forms of racism

Note: In response to enquiries from various media, the FSO prepared a special analysis of several indicators on attitudes towards target groups. The indicators "refusal to classify", "refusal of stereotypes" and "agreement with negative stereotypes" were broken down by the variable religious affiliation. Furthermore, some elements of the hostility indices were broken down by gender, age, political stance, religious affiliation, level of education and major region. These special analyses are available on request.

Further information





Federal Statistical Office Section Demography and Migration
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuchâtel



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