Identity and belonging

Today's society comprises diverse identities. What do people living in Switzerland identify with, how do they define themselves and what characteristics are important to their identity? The indicator on identity deals with the subjective importance given to personal characteristics.

Four characteristics stand out as being particularly important in the eyes of the population in 2023. They are: family situation, language, occupation or education and training, and nationality. Almost 50% of the population consider these four characteristics to be important to their identity. On average, people mention four different characteristics.

Advantages and disadvantages

In relation to questions of identity, the figures below indicate which individual characteristics can be advantageous when living in Switzerland and which can become an obstacle.

Nationality is one of the most important characteristics in the eyes of the population. Is ethnic identity an advantage or disadvantage when it comes to living in Switzerland?

Nationality or ethnic origin are considered to bring more advantages than disadvantages in people's daily lives. While around two-thirds of people believe that such characteristics bring advantages, two out of ten people believe that they are disadvantageous. Nationality is the characteristic that provides the most advantages, while religion is the one providing the least. With regard to disadvantages, skin colour and religion are least mentioned as obstacles.

Attachment to places

A sense of attachment to a place provides information about a person's identity.

Nine out of ten people say they are attached to Switzerland. Of all the places considered, this is the strongest attachment. Around seven out of ten people say they are attached to their canton, the place where they grew up or their commune or neighbourhood.

Around half of the population feels attached to their family's place of origin. Most of the places mentioned are in Switzerland, but towns and regions in Italy, Germany and Portugal are also mentioned often.

Further information



Documentation on survey


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



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