This indicator shows the percentage of people who do not have the means to acquire goods and services necessary to an integrated social life. Income poverty reduces people’s financial leeway, influencing their way of life and compromising their social integration.
In Switzerland, in 2019, the poverty rate of the population aged 16 and over was 9%. This rate is significantly higher for the population with a migration background from the first generation than for those without a migration background (11% compared with 7%). In the population with a migration background from the second or subsequent generations, the poverty rate is not significantly different from that of the population without a migration background, but it is lower than that of the first generation (7%).
From 2014 to 2019, the poverty rate of the population without a migration background and the second generation showed no significant increase. Conversely, the poverty rate of the first generation has increased during this observation period (+3 percentage points).
In the major regions of Zurich, Eastern Switzerland and Ticino, the poverty rates of employed persons with or without a migration background do not differ significantly from one another, with the exception of the Lake Geneva Region and Northwest Switzerland where the poverty rate of the population with a migration background is around twice as high as that of the population without a migration background. In the Espace Mittelland, the opposite is true: the population with a migration background has a poverty rate twice as high as that of the population without a migration background.
Poverty means a lack of resources (material, cultural and social) that excludes persons from the minimum acceptable way of life in the country in which they live. People who do not have the financial means to acquire goods and services necessary to an integrated social life are considered poor. This definition is based on the social existence minimum. The poverty rate thus constitutes a basis for the evaluation of social policy. The poverty rate used was calculated according to recommendations from the Swiss Conference of Social Action Institutions (SCSA). It consists of a lump sum for maintenance, individual accommodation costs as well as CHF 100 per month and per person from the age of 16 for other costs.
The poverty rate corresponds to the proportion of people living in a household whose disposable income (excl. assets) is below the poverty line. For households comprised of several adults with a different migration status, the same value calculated for the entire household is used for persons with and without a migration background.
Following changes to the survey framework and improvements in the weighting model, results from 2014 on can no longer be directly compared with those from previous years (series break).
ContactFederal Statistical Office Section Demography and Migration
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