Analyses about the social security system

In the course of their lifetime, a person can receive several types of benefits from the social security system. These benefits go hand in hand and can be received one after the other or at the same time. Unemployment insurance (UI), invalidity insurance (II) and social assistance (SA) form such a combination.

In order to better analyse the interactions and relationships between unemployment insurance, invalidity insurance and social assistance, the SHIVALV (German for SA-II-UI) data set was created. The data set enables trajectories in a substantial part of the social security system to be better observed and understood.

The SHIVALV data set

The statistics on trajectories in the social security system (SHIVALV) are based on a data set used to analyse the social security system and drawn from the combination of data on unemployment insurance, invalidity insurance and social assistance. Population statistics (STATPOP) and individual account data (IC) are also included. The SHIVALV data set covers everyone who has received at least one of the three benefits – in the form of daily UI allowances, an II pension or social assistance – since 2010. The SHIVALV data set only includes social assistance in the narrow sense, i.e. financial social assistance, and it is currently not possible to include any other means-tested benefits from cantons and communes. For invalidity insurance, the data set only includes pensions, whether partial or full. Results about invalidity insurance do therefore not include individuals who have benefited from other invalidity insurance measures, such as rehabilitation measures or the helplessness allowance.

The data set includes all benefit recipients aged 18–64/65 with permanent residency in Switzerland (permanent resident population). Children aged 0–17, who account for around a third of social assistance recipients, are not included. The rates of recipients within the SHIVALV data set represent the cumulative number of recipients throughout the year divided by the permanent resident population at the end of each year. These calculations are made for both the global security system and for each individual type of benefit. The calculation is not the same as that used to determine the rate of unemployed people, invalidity insurance pensioners and social assistance recipients. The figures published here are therefore different from the statistics published separately for the individual benefit systems.

In the analysis of trajectories in the social security system, only people and flows of people between the three benefit systems are examined. The financial flows of the benefits and the related internal accounting and financial reimbursements related to the three benefit systems cannot be presented with the data base available.

Evaluation of the SHIVALV data set

The SHIVALV data set was created to improve the analysis of interactions and transitions between the three categories of benefits within the social security system – unemployment insurance, invalidity insurance and social assistance. Thanks to these data, it
is possible to know the number of benefit recipients in a given year and the trend over time, to analyse different trajectories and to examine recipients in a benefit system – those who newly receive benefits, those whose benefits end, and those who are transferred from one system to another. The indicators that can be created are presented on the following pages:

Details of how indicators are calculated are provided in the methodological report available under "Methodologies" below (only available in French).

Further information


The results shown in the “tables” section are based on the calculation method used since 2023. The results produced according to the method used until 2022 have been updated and are available in the FSO database.



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Methodological reports only available in German and French

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Statistical sources and concepts


Federal statistical office Section Social Welfare
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