NFE Poverty indicator

The NFE poverty indicator is used, in combination with other indicators, to calculate cost compensation payments in the context of national fiscal equalisation. Based on poverty indicator figures, on the number of very old people and the number of foreigners, in 2019, 12 cantons shared CHF 241 million allocated by the Confederation by way of socio-demographic cost compensation related to the structure of the population (CCS A-C).

The basis of calculation for the NFE poverty indicator (also referred to as ARMIN) is the beneficiary rate of social assistance in the broader sense.

The cost compensation payments for 2020 are based on the 2017 poverty indicator. The cantons are ranked from left to right according to the NFE poverty indicator value. Basel-Stadt has the highest indicator value, followed by the cantons of Geneva, Neuchâtel and Vaud. In the cantons of Central and Eastern Switzerland, the beneficiary rate of social assistance in a broader sense is below the average.

The order of the cantons has changed very little since the NFE poverty indicator was first calculated in 2005.The top five places have always been taken by the cantons Geneva, Basel-Stadt, Neuchâtel, Ticino and Vaud. Ten of the eleven cantons with the lowest poverty indicators in 2005 were still at the bottom of the list in 2017. The canton of Valais disappeared from the bottom eleven cantons due to an adaptation of methodology in 2014.

Further information


Statistical sources and concepts


Federal Statistical Office Section Social Analyses and Section Social Welfare
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuchâtel


+41 58 463 64 21


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