This indicator measures the inability, for financial reasons, of individuals or households to be able to afford consumer goods and habitual activities in society at a given time. It makes it possible to highlight material inequality between the different groups of the population observed. Material deprivation has an impact on opportunities to participate in all areas of life and entails a risk of social exclusion.
In 2017, the material deprivation rate was nearly three times greater for persons with a migration background than for those without a migration background (7% compared with more than 2%).
Between 2014 and 2017, the deprivation rate remained quite stable among the population without a migration background. Among persons with a migration background, the rate of persons suffering from material deprivation decreased between 2016 and 2017.
The population with a migration background tends to be more exposed to material deprivation than the population without a migration background in each major region. The Espace Mittelland (6% compared with 2%), Northwest Switzerland (13% compared with 2%), Zurich (5% compared with 2%) and Eastern Switzerland (6% compared with 2%) are the only regions in which the gap between both groups is significant.
Material deprivation is the fact of not possessing durable consumer goods or the absence of the conditions of a minimal existence due to lack of financial resources. Material deprivation is defined as the absence, for financial reasons, of at least three out of nine factors. Coordinated on a European basis, the nine items taken into account relate to the following areas of life:
• capacity to face within one month an unexpected expense equal to 1/12 of the at-risk-of-poverty threshold (set at 60%) for a person living alone (CHF 2500 in Switzerland since 2013, CHF 2000 from 2007 and 2012);
• capacity to afford a one week annual holiday away from home;
• lack of payment arrears;
• capacity to afford a meal with meat, chicken or fish (or vegetarian equivalent) at least every other day;
• capacity to keep one’s home adequately warm;
Deprivation of consumer durables:
• owning a washing machine, a colour television, a telephone, a car.
Disturbances related to the main dwelling and its neighbourhood: At least one of the following 3 types of disturbance:
• Noise from neighbours or the street,
• Problems resulting from criminality, violence or vandalism in the neighbourhood,
• Problems resulting from pollution, rubbish or other environmental issues.
A single member of the household is asked these questions and the answers imputed to all household members. For households comprised of several adults with a different migration status, the same value is entered for persons with a migration background and for those without.
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).