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
Refusal to rank (soft)
Refusal to rank (hard)
Refusal to stereotype
Agreement with stereotypes
Mistrut of religion
Refusal to rank
The indicator aims to ascertain whether the target 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 95% with regard to Muslims, 96% for Jewish people and 96% for Black people.
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.
To what extent do you agree with the following: "[group] have good and bad points like anybody else".
1. strongly agree, 2. agree, 3. disagree, 4.strongly disagree, 9 no answer. Consideration of answers 1-2 (together) and answer 1 (on its own).
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.
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.
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).
A) Do you agree with this statement? "The habits and lifestyles of [group] are different from those of the Swiss population in general".
B) Here are a series of characteristics sometimes attributed to [group]. To what extent do you think these characteristics apply?
keep too much to themselves
oppression of women
disrespect of rules
disrespect of human rights
A) 1. totally, 2, rather, 3. rather not, 4. not at all, 9. no answer.
B) 1. it hardly applies - 6. it fully applies, 9. no answer.
in question B)
characteristic 1 = 4 or 5 or 6 and
characteristic 2 = 4 or 5 or 6 and
characteristic 3 = 4 or 5 or 6 and
characteristic 4 = 4 or 5 or 6
in question A)
question A = 4
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 2020, the proportion of the population hostile to Muslims – i.e. having negative opinions about them – was 12%.
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.