Social assistance

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In focus

Monetary social assistance

The social assistance in Switzerland

Social assistance is a last-resort benefit. It includes measures to help recipients to be financially independent and socially integrated and to prevent them from falling into poverty.

These statistics enable the social assistance rate to be calculated and describe the socio-demographic structure of recipients, their financial situation and the amount of benefits received.

Poverty indicator NFE

Expenditure for means-tested social benefits

The financial statistics of means-tested social benefits for poverty reduction is based on the inventory and presents the social benefits included therein from a financial point of view. They show the expenditure dedicated to each benefit by the Confederation, the cantons and the communes.

At a glance

In 2022, 256 800 persons in Switzerland received social assistance in the form of a financial benefit on at least one occasion. The social assistance rate fell by 0.2 percentage points to 2.9%. This decline was associated with a lower number of new recipients. As in the previous year, therefore, the COVID-19 pandemic had a minor impact on social assistance.

The social assistance rate has not changed much in recent years. The same applies to the main groups at risk. Persons without post-compulsory education, children, foreign nationals, single-parent families and persons living alone have a higher risk of having to resort to social assistance.

Further information

Press releases

Statistical sources and concepts

On this topic

Recipients of social benefits

Key indicators on recipients of social benefits.

Expenditure for means-tested social benefits for poverty reduction

Financial statistics provide information on net expenditure on social assistance and other means-tested social benefits in Switzerland.

Inventory of means-tested social benefits for poverty reduction

The inventory offers a systematic compilation of the cantonal social benefits which form part of social assistance.


Federal Statistical Office Section Social Welfare
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuch√Ętel

+41 58 461 44 44


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