Full indicator name: language(s) in which people use media
This indicator reveals the level of interest and identification that people who are foreign nationals and/or have a migration background hold towards their country of origin and the host country.
The language of media consumption reflects an individual’s interest for the culture, language or politics of a particular country. Regular use of the local language to watch television, listen to the radio or surf the internet indicates the level of interest of foreign nationals and/or persons with a migration background for political, cultural or linguistic affairs in the host country and well as their ability to access information in the language spoken in the commune where they live. The use of media in languages other than the local language or English, shows the identification of the population that is foreign and/or with a migration background for the country of origin, their interest in political or cultural affairs in other countries and reveals their knowledge of languages other than the local one or English.
In the population without a migration background and in the population from the second or higher generation with a migration background, respectively 95% and 91% use the local language of their commune of residence at least once a week in the media. In the population from the first generation with a migration background, the rate is 86%.
Between 2014 and 2019, the share of persons for whom at least one of the languages of regular media use is a local language decreased for all groups, with the exception of the second or subsequent generations. However, the decrease is most marked in the population from the first generation with a migration background, with a decrease of more than 5 percentage points (91% to 86%). In the population without a migration background, the decrease is 1.5 percentage points.
Overall, a large proportion of the population regularly uses the local language of the commune of residence to consult media, regardless of migration status. However, the results do show differences between linguistic groups and regions.
In the German-speaking region, the proportion of the population using German in the media differs most significantly according to migration status. Among persons without a migration background, this proportion is significantly higher than that of the population with a migration background (96% compared with 85%), regardless of the generation. However, among the population of second or subsequent generations, the proportion of persons using German for media consumption is higher than that of the first generation (90% compared with 83%).
In the French-speaking region, the differences are less marked. Among the population without a migration background, the share of persons using the media regularly in French is significantly higher than that of the population with a migration background (95% compared with 91%). In the latter population, the proportion of people using French for media consumption is higher than that of the first generation (94% compared with 90%).
In the Italian-speaking region, there is no significant difference by migration status among people whose preferred language for media consumption is Italian.
The regular use of other languages for media consumption – other than a local language or English – concerns much fewer people in the population of Switzerland. People with a migration background stand out clearly from those with no migration background: more than 38% of people from the first or second generation use a language other than a local language or English for media consumption. In the population without a migration background, this figure is 12%.
Among the population with a migration background, the share of persons regularly using media in a language other than the local language or English remained stable between 2014 and 2019. In contrast, there was a decrease in the population without a migration background (from 15% to 12%).
More people in the population with a migration background regularly use another language – other than the local language or English – for media consumption (respectively 39% and 38%) than in the population without a migration background (respectively 10% and 16%). This is the case in German and French-speaking regions in Switzerland. In these regions, the share of people with no migration background who use another language for media consumption tends to be higher in French-speaking regions than in German-speaking ones.
In contrast to the other two linguistic regions, in the Italian-speaking region the share of people who regularly use a language other than Italian or English for media consumption does not vary significantly by migration status.
The language, religion and culture survey (LRCS) is intended for people aged 15 and over who can answer in German, French or Italian. In case of insufficient language skills in one of these official languages, part of the survey can be conducted with the help of a third person (proxy interview).
The indicator is based on the following LRCS questions:
• “In which language do you listen to the radio, watch films or programs? You can indicate several languages. »
• “How often do you listen to the radio or watch films or programs in language X?
Possible answers are: “every day or almost”, “at least once a week”, “at least once a month”, “at least once a year”, “less than once a year”.
The regular use of a language is defined as at least once a week.
The local language is the one of the “commune” of residence. The local language is Swiss German in the predominantly German-speaking communes, and French or Italian in the communes of the French- or Italian-speaking regions.
ContactFederal Statistical Office Section Demography and Migration
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