Recommended by the EU, this indicator measures the risk of social exclusion and the scale of income inequality between the different population groups. A higher at-risk-of poverty rate in a population group underlines this group's lack of equal opportunities to participate, in comparison with others, in various areas of life and in society.
In 2017, the at-risk-of poverty rate was significantly more likely to affect persons with a migration background (18%) than those with no migration background (12%).
Between 2014 and 2017, the at-risk-of-poverty rate of people with or without a migration background did not change significantly.
In all major Swiss regions, the at-risk-of-poverty rate is higher among people with a migration background than among persons with no immigration background. The difference is statistically significant in the Lake Geneva region (18% compared with 11%), in Northwest Switzerland (17% compared with 9%), in Eastern Switzerland (19% compared with 12%) and in Ticino (33% compared with 17%).
Persons are considered at risk of poverty if they live in a household whose financial resources (excluding capital stock) are considerably lower than the usual income level in the country that they live in. Poverty is seen as a form of inequality; the fact that a person can be considered at risk of poverty does not depend only on his own economic situation, but also on the economic situation of other people in the country under consideration. The at-risk-of-poverty threshold is a relative measure defined in relation to the median equivalised disposable income. The European Union has fixed the at-risk-of poverty threshold at 60% of the median equivalised disposable income, the OECD at 50%. The at-risk-of-poverty rate is calculated on the entire population, with no age limit. Being at risk of poverty, therefore, means having an income that is significantly lower than that of the population as a whole, a situation that can lead to social exclusion. 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.
In Switzerland, the at-risk-of-poverty threshold for a single person household was CHF 2502 per month in 2017. This means that a person living alone, whose disposable income was less than CHF 2502 per month, was considered as being at-risk-of-poverty. The threshold was CHF 5253 per month for a two-person household with two children under the age of 14. The at-risk-of-poverty threshold must be distinguished from the absolute poverty rate calculated by the FSO based on Swiss norms for access to social assistance.
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).