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 target groups: Muslims, Black people and Jewish people.

Attitudes toward the groups
  Muslims Black people Jewish people
Refusal to rank (soft)
95% 96% 96%
Refusal to rank (hard) 73% 79% 80%
Refusal to stereotype 5% 18% 16%
Agreement with  stereotypes 20% 11% 22%
Hostility 12% 11% 8%
Mistrut of religion 26% * *

Refusal to rank

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

Soft refusal

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 95% with regard to Muslims, 96% for Jewish people and 96% for Black people.

Hard refusal

The proportion of persons strongly agreeing with the statement is 73% with regard to the first ones, 79% with regard to the second ones and 80% with regard to the third ones. These figures indicate that preconceived perceptions of Muslims are less favourable than those of the other groups.

Stereotypes : between agreement and refusal

The graphic shows two types of possible reactions to the presentation of stereotypes about the target groups: the consistent agreement with the negative characteristics and the refusal to stereotype.

Agreement

The proportion of the subpopulation that thinks the ascribed negative stereotypes apply strongly amounts to 22% in the case of Jewish people and to 20% when it comes to Muslims. It is 11% with regard to Black people. These figures indicate that preconceived stereotypical perceptions of Black people are more favourable than those of the other groups.

Refusal

With regard to Muslims, the strong agreement with negative stereotypes (20%) is accompanied by a low refusal to stereotype (5%). In contrast, the proportion of the population that rejects stereotyping Jewish and Black people is higher (at 16% and 18%, respectively). Only for Black people, the refusal to stereotype is higher than the agreement with negative stereotypes (11% agreement, 18% refusal).

Hostility

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.

Hostility

In 2020, the proportion of the population hostile to Muslims – i.e. having negative opinions about them – was 12%.

Mistrust

The proportion of the population who disapprove of Islam was 26%. Consequently, opposition towards religion is two 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 2020, the proportion of the population hostile to Black people was 11%. This percentage is identical to those recorded in 2018 and 2016, indicating stability in the trend.

In 2020, the proportion of the population hostile to Jewish people was 8%. It is one percentage point less than in 2018.

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.


Further information

Tables

Sources

Contact

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

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