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 2019, the material deprivation rate was three times greater for persons with a migration background from the first generation than for those without a migration background (8% compared with 3%). The second or subsequent generations had a material deprivation rate of 5%.
Between 2014 and 2019, the deprivation rate remained quite stable overall among the three population groups observed.
The population with a migration background is more exposed to material deprivation than the population without a migration background. The Lake Geneva region (12% compared with 5%), the North-West Switzerland (9% compared with 3%) and Zurich (6% compared with 1%) are the regions in which the gap between both groups is significant. In the Espace Mittelland and in Eastern Switzerland the same trend is observed, but the difference is not statistically 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 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).