Experience of discrimination


Discrimination refers to acts or practices that unjustifiably disadvantage, humiliate, threaten or endanger the integrity of persons on grounds for example of their physical appearance, ethnicity, religious affiliation or gender. The indicator on the experience of discrimination captures the prevalence of the phenomenon in Switzerland from the perspective of the victims.


The value of the indicator measuring the experience of discrimination is 28% in 2020. About 3 out of 10 persons in Switzerland said that they had been subjected to discrimination over the past five years.


Over the 2016-2020 period, the proportion of the population saying they experienced discrimination statistically and significantly increased:

  • +7 percentage points between 2016 and 2020
  • +13 percentage points between 2010 and 2020


Regardless of the year, the proportion of the population saying they experienced discrimination is higher than the proportion of the population saying they experienced physical or mental violence.

More figures on this topic

The figures below indicate how many people feel discriminated against and which groups are most likely to experience negative treatment. Everyday situations in which discriminatory actions or words are experienced are also examined.

What are the discrimination grounds most mentioned by victims?

  • Nationality: mentioned by 56% (population estimates 15%)
  • Language: mentioned by 35% (population estimates 10%)
  • Gender: mentioned by 27% (population estimates 7%)

What are the situations in which discrimination occurred most mentioned by victims?

  • Work & job search: mentioned by 53% 
  • Public spaces: mentioned by 34% 
  • School & education: mentioned by 19% 

In situations involving institutions:

  • 12% said experiencing discrimination with public authorities
  • 10% said experiencing discrimination with the police

Further information




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



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