Social assistance rate and household rate (supported by social assistance)


In the Swiss social protection system, social assistance is seen as a last resort. It is granted on a needs basis in situations not covered by social insurance benefits and includes all assistance benefits and basic care aimed at providing people in need with the basic means of subsistence. Social assistance in the narrow sense covers individual help and financial assistance. It ensures that people’s basic needs are met, fostering their individual and financial independence as well as their social and professional integration. It helps people to overcome temporary crises and in this respect is the last social safety net. In general, it is not intended to cover risks of a structural nature. Social assistance comes under the responsibility of the cantons. The Confederation is only responsible for social assistance in the context of asylum, refugees and assistance to Swiss citizens abroad. Each canton has its own social assistance legislation that governs all cantonal and communal social assistance.


The social assistance rate (rate of recipients of social assistance in the narrow sense) expresses the ratio between the number of people receiving at least one social assistance benefit in the year and the permanent resident population according to STATPOP of the previous year (Population and Household Statistics). The Statistics on social assistance recipients also include data on people receiving assistance on a temporary basis. These are temporarily admitted people who have been living in Switzerland for more than seven years, such as temporarily admitted refugees who have been in Switzerland for more than seven years.

You can access the indicators in one of the following ways

All indicators

Some 68 indicators describe the current situation and changes in the integration of the population with a migration background and/or of foreign nationals in Switzerland in eleven areas of life in our society.

Key indicators

34 key indicators provide an overview of the progress made on the journey towards integration and the state of integration of the population with a migration background. If this information is lacking, the population is shown by nationality, and where this variable is available, the country of birth.


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



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