Sense of threat


The sense of threat people may experience facing foreign nationals refers to the fears of the population and expresses a negative attitude towards them. The threat index captures the existence or absence of this feeling.


The average value of the index measuring the sense of threat with regard to the presence of foreigners in Switzerland is 2.0 in 2020, on a scale from 1 (absence of this feeling) to 4 (existence of this feeling). The fact that the average value of the index is close to 2 over the observation period indicates that the feeling is rather absent than present.


The average value of the index has decreased between 2016 and 2020.

More figures on this topic

Used to construct the index measuring the sense of threat, the results below show to what extent the population feels threatened by foreign or Swiss nationals and in which context this feeling is particularly strong.

  • Prevalence: The proportion of the population that feels threatened is relatively low, regardless as to whether the threat is perceived to come from foreign nationals (9%) or Swiss nationals (4%).
  • Foreign nationals: In three situations observed, the proportion of the population that feels threatened by Swiss nationals is lower than the proportion that feels threatened by foreign nationals.
  • Political conflict: The menace is felt to be great in the event of political conflict. In that kind of event 60% feel threatened by foreigners.
  • Nationality: Persons of Swiss nationality feel more threatened by non-nationals than persons of foreign nationality themselves do (11%-13% compared with 4%). Persons of foreign nationality do not feel more threatened by nationals than persons of Swiss nationality themselves do (4%).

Further information




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



Our English pages offer only a limited range of information on our statistical production. For our full range please consult our pages in French and German (top right hand screen).