National projections

The Federal Statistical Office has been commissioned by the Federal Council since 1984 to produce - together with other Federal Offices - population scenarios for Switzerland. Forecasts of demographic growth focus on hypotheses about population growth in Switzerland, about employment and the level of education. The 2020-2050 scenarios were published in May 2020.

Three new basic scenarios were calculated. The reference scenario (A-00-2020) describes the growth that seems most plausible in the coming decade. The “high”scenario (B-00-2020) is based on a combination of hypotheses that promotes future population growth, whereas the “low” scenario (C-00-2020) combines hypotheses, favoring a slower population growth.

Permanent resident population according to the three basic scenarios

The reference scenario is expecting a further increase in the permanent resident population up until 2050 to approximately 10.4 million people. The “high” scenario assumes that the population will grow rapidly and that at the end of 2050 the number of inhabitants will have risen to 11.4 million. The “low” scenario predicts slower population growth and 9.5 million inhabitants at the end of 2050.

Permanent resident population according to three basic scenarios, in thousand
  Reference Scenario
High Scenario
Low Scenario

2020

8 688.2

8 717.5

8 658.7

2025

9 058.3

9 178.3

8 937.9

2030

9 430.8

9 672.2

9 189.4

2035

9 758.5

10 146.9

9 371.7

2040

10 015.4

10 572.6

9 463.5

2045

10 235.3

10 979.7

9 502.5

2050

10 440.6

11 385.7

9 516.9

Source: FSO, SCENARIO

Growth of the permanent resident population in Switzerland

Since 1990, Switzerland’s population of around 6.8 million has grown considerably and in 2018 totalled 8.5 million inhabitants. The scenarios show that this trend is intensifying. According to the reference scenario, Switzerland’s population will be 10.4 million in 2050.

Sex and age structure

The age structure of the Swiss population will undergo considerable change in the coming decades. Population ageing, which will take place over the next 30 years, is due partly to a decline in the number of births in the preceding decades and partly to the baby boom cohorts, who were born in Switzerland between 1950 and 1970 or who immigrated to Switzerland in this period and up to the present day gradually reaching retirement age. As life expectancy continues to rise, a greater proportion of people are reaching very old age and population ageing is intensified. Due to a stagnating, low-level birth rate and constantly falling mortality rates, after 2050 the proportion of old people will remain high despite the fact that the baby boom generation will no longer be alive in 50 years’ time.

The reference scenario assumes that the number of persons aged 20 to 64 will increase slightly in the next 30 years. It rises from 5.3 million in 2018 to 5.5 million in 2030, 5.6 million in 2040 and 5.8 million in 2050. However, their number increases at a slower rate than that of persons aged 65 and over and their proportion in the total population falls from 61.5% in 2018 to 57.8% in 2030, 56.0% in 2040 and 55.1% in 2050.

Age pyramid

The age pyramid will change in the next thirty years and the fir tree shape will look more like an urn. According to all scenarios the top of the age pyramid will become wider and wider as the baby boom generations enter the older age groups. The base of the age pyramid, however, may either get wider or narrower - if there are more or fewer births - according to the fertility hypothesis of the scenarios.

Contact

Federal Statistical Office Section Demography and Migration
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuchâtel
Switzerland

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