Attitudes towards target groups

In the current climate, social tensions can be seen to focus on Muslim groups and on other "visible minorities" such as Black people or migrant populations. Moreover, Jewish people are still affected by prejudices.

By recording opinions or stereotypes the following figures provide information on the attitudes of the population towards three groups: Muslims, Black people and Jewish people.

Attitudes toward the groups
  Muslims Black people Jewish people
Refusal to rank the groups (soft)
93% 95% 95%
Refusal to rank the groups (hard) 71% 74% 75%
Rejection of negative characteristics 4% 9% 9%
Agreement with negative characteristics 14% 7% 12%
Hostility 11% 11% 9%
Mistrut of religion 29% * *

Refusal to rank

The indicator aims to ascertain whether the groups are perceived equally or not by the population living in Switzerland.

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 people from these groups are just like anybody else is 93% with regard to Muslims, 95% for Jewish people and 95% for Black people.

Stereotypes : between agreement and rejection

The graphic shows two types of possible reactions to the presentation of a series of stereotypes about the groups: the consistent agreement with the characteristics and the consistent rejection of the same characteristics.

The proportion of the population that thinks the negative characteristics ascribed to Muslims are highly relevant is 14%. It drops to 12% with regard to Jewish people and to 7% for Black people. These figures indicate that preconceived stereotypical perceptions of Black people are more favourable than those of the other groups.

With regard to Muslims, the sizeable agreement with negative stereotypes (14%) is accompanied by a low consistent rejection of the characteristics (4%). For Black people, the proportion of the population that consistently rejects the characteristics is higher (9%) compared with the first group. For Jewish people, agreement and rejection are similar and rather high (12% of agreement, 9% of rejection).


The hostility towards different groups is measured by means of indices which are based on several negative statements. The figures below reflect phenomena such as racism and anti-semitism.

In 2018, the proportion of people hostile to Muslims – i.e. having negative opinions about them – was 11%. In order to obtain a more complete picture of the population's attitude towards the group, this hostility index can be compared with the index measuring mistrust of Islam. The proportion of people who disapprove of Islam is 29%. Consequently, opposition towards religion is three times as high as hostility towards the group (without explicit reference being made to religion or to religious practices of the latter). Compared to previous years, the value of this index has decreased.

In 2018, the proportion of people hostile to Black people was 11%. This percentage should be regarded with caution, as the data on this group have not yet been analysed in detail. Such analysis will be possible after the third series of the survey.

In 2018, the proportion of people hostile to Jewish people was 9% – one percentage point more than in 2016.

These indices combine several statements about the groups. This procedure enables opinions to be collected not on the basis of one answer, but on the basis of several. In this way, an opinion is only qualified as hostile, racist or anti-Semitic if this tendency can be observed throughout the statements presented to interviewees.

Further information




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



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