25 Money Statistics about Switzerland| Updated: |
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I know you like personal finance. But I hope you like statistics and numbers! Because today I am bringing you a bunch of them!
For this article, I have collected many money statistics about Switzerland. I have only gathered the most interesting statistics for you!
At the end of the article, you will also find my sources. There are many more statistics available if you want to do some extra research. Each of my statistics can be traced back to these sources. And for each money statistic, I have also noted the year of the statistic.
If you think I missed an important statistic, let me know in the comments below. And I will try to add it to the list!
1. The median gross monthly salary is 6502 CHF
In Switzerland, in 2018, the median gross monthly salary was 6502 CHF. It is a rather high salary, even for Europe. It is why even with our very high expenses in this country, we can live very well.
Now, there are very disparities in income. I know many people who earn around 5000 CHF per month. I was not able to find the average salary. But I am sure it would be significantly higher due to some very high salary.
Now, you may think this is a lot. But since everything is very expensive, this is not as much as it seems. It would correspond to about 6000 CHF net income. For us, this would mean we would save less than 1000 CHF per month. It would take us a very long time to be financially free.
Nevertheless, since the median is high, it means there are huge opportunities for growing our income! In an expensive country, it makes more sense to focus on income rather than expenses.
2. 16% of people earn less than 2/3 of the median salary
In 2018, 16% of people earned less than two-thirds of the median salary. It corresponds to 4334 CHF gross monthly salary. Jobs with such salaries are considered low-salary jobs.
It should help put into perspective the very high median salary. These people are not considered poor because you can live in Switzerland with such a salary. However, you have to be careful when you have such an income.
3. Women are paid 12.0% less than men
On average, in 2016, women were paid 12.0% less than men.
This is a crazy statistic. I knew there was a problem, but I did not know it was such a large gap. There is a lot of work to be done here to improve on that point.
In some industries, the gap is lower. For instance, in hotels, women are paid almost as well as men (there is still a gap). But in the banking industry, the gap can reach up to 30%.
At least, it is getting better and better. In 2014, it was still 15.1%. So it is going down. But it is still not great!
4. People are saving 1428 CHF per month
On average, in 2017, people in Switzerland saved 1428 CHF per month.
This number is higher than I would have thought. But I think that this is highly skewed by people that earn a lot of money. Most of the people I know do not save that much per month, at all.
On the other, we are saving much more than per month. On average, we easily save 5000 CHF per month. Even though we have a high income, we are quite frugal. And we are not spending as much as some people with lower income.
5. The Average Wealth is 564’653 USD
On average, in 2019, the wealth per adult was 564’653 USD.
For me, this money statistic is just out of this world! It is incredible. I know nobody with such wealth. And even though I think it is doable to accumulate this with a standard income, it is still huge.
It shows that the average is skewed towards the mega-rich in Switzerland. The disparities are just incredible.
And this wealth has been growing at an incredible rate. In 2000, the average wealth per adult was only 231’415 USD. In less than 20 years, the average wealth doubled in Switzerland!
The median wealth is also quite incredible. In 2019, the median wealth per adult in Switzerland was 227’981 USD. The median is much more representative of a country. Even though this is much lower, it is still quite high.
Interestingly, our net worth just passed over the median in 2019!
6. The Average Debt per adult is 142’624 USD
In 2019, the average debt per adult was 142’624 USD.
I think this is not a very high number when we consider the very high price of houses and the mortgages this implies.
Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a precise categorization of the different debts. But I have other statistics regarding debt just following.
7. 15.5% of people have a vehicle leasing
In 2013, 15.5% of people had a vehicle in leasing.
It is quite unbelievable. And actually, this is sad. It means that people are buying cars that are too expensive for them, and they do not have the money to afford them. So instead of waiting to have the money, they use leasing to pay for the vehicle.
And this is only one of the kinds of debts that people have in Switzerland. Considering all forms of debts but not mortgages, 39.4% of the population has at least one debt. It could be a debt to a friend or a late payment of a bill.
A thing that makes me sad is that 18% of people in Switzerland have at least one late payment on their bills. This is quite crazy.
8. 32.6% of people have no credit card
In 2013, 32.6% of people were living in a household with no credit card.
This money statistic is unbelievable. It goes to show that Swiss people like cash.
I understand some people being reluctant to use a credit card. If they are misused, people can end up in debt. But well use, a good credit card strategy can help you.
Only 6.3% of people lived in a household with more than one credit card. This is another crazy statistic for me. We have three main credit cards that we use regularly. And I do not think this is unreasonable.
9. 4.6% of people are millionaires
In 2018, 4.6% of people were millionaires in Switzerland. This is based on statistics gathered by each state from its taxpayers.
This is another incredible statistic. Almost one person in twenty is a millionaire in wealth in Switzerland.
The reason I am surprised by this statistic is that nobody talks about money in Switzerland. So, I probably know a few millionaires, but I have no idea they have that amount of money.
To compare with other countries, France has less than 1% of millionaires, and the United States has about 2%. And Switzerland is the seventh country in the world with the most millionaires.
10. 8.4% of people in Switzerland are self-employed
In 2019, 8.4% of people were self-employed in Switzerland.
It is a really low number compared to the average of 14% in Europe. And the average in Switzerland has been going down. Twenty years ago, it was still 10%.
It seems that very few people want to be self-employed in Switzerland. And the people that count the lowest percentage of self-employed are Millenials.
Most of the people I know do not desire to become self-employed. And I never desired it either.
I think it is not easy trying to become independent in Switzerland. Our culture does not reward risk and innovation.
11. 4.6% of people are unemployed
At the end of 2018, 4.6% of people were unemployed. It is only considered economically active people (not retired and not under-age).
It is much better than the average of Europe, which was about 7% at this time. In France, the unemployment rate is about 9%. On the other hand, Germany is at a great rate of 3.6%.
But there are some large disparities between education levels. For instance, 8% of people with only compulsory education are unemployed. While only 3% of the people with university education are unemployed.
12. 35% of people are working part-time
This statistic is impressive for me! In 2018, more than a third of employed people in Switzerland were working part-time.
The average in Europe is only 19.2%! Only the Netherlands (with 50.1%) has a higher proportion of part-time workers in Switzerland.
There is a huge difference between women and me on this. Only 14.9% of men were working part, with only 4.3% working less than 50% of the week. On the other hand, 57.9% of women are working part-time. And 22.7% of the women are working less than 50% of the time.
13. 7.2% of people are underemployed
This is another impressive money statistic. In 2018, 7.2% of the active population was underemployed.
It means that these people are working part-time, but they would like to work more. Many of them are working at 50% but would like to increase to 80% or 100%. But they cannot increase in their current job or cannot take a second.
This puts in perspective the very low unemployment rate, in my opinion.
14. Employees work 41 hours and 8 minutes per week
On average, full-time employees worked 41 hours and 8 minutes per week in 2018. It is only the average for full-time employees. These statistics do not include part-time employees. Otherwise, it would be lower.
Compared to the world average, this is not much. For instance, in the United States, people work 44 hours per week on average.
But there are still some countries in Europe where they work less per week. For instance, Germany and France work fewer hours per week on average.
I work significantly more than 41 hours per week. I probably work about 46 hours per week. And I already think this is not that much. I do not understand how people working only 40 hours a week are complaining.
15. 15% of people work on atypical times
In 2018, 15% o the employed people in Switzerland worked with an atypical schedule. It means people working during the night or the weekend or on call.
These are many sectors where such work in necessary. For instance, in healthcare, you need to work the nights and during the weekend. And a lot of shops are employing on-call people for the cashier.
Generally, these people are compensated for the atypical hours. But this is still a very stressful job. And most people do not follow this schedule for a very long time.
16. The average retirement age is 65.5 years
In 2018, the average retirement age was 65.5 years old. On average, men retired at 65.8 years old, and women retired at 65.2 years old.
It is important to note that this number only contains people that retired from the age of 58. But since there are very early retirees in Switzerland, the average would not change much.
If we compare this to the United States, this is significantly older. In the United States, people are retiring at 62 on average. It is also the same in France.
In Europe, Switzerland is among the countries where people work the longest.
17. 20% of Swiss people did not go see a doctor due to costs
For me, this is a sad point to make about the Swiss healthcare system. One in five people decided not to go see a doctor when they needed due to high costs.
People are paying a lot of money every month for their health insurance. And on top of that, they still have to pay the deductible. And the deductible is too much for many people.
Our healthcare is of very good quality. But it is also one of the most expensive in the world. Given the insane price of health insurance that we pay, it is really sad that some people cannot even go to the doctor.
18. The life expectancy in good health is 71.2 years
In 2017, the average life expectancy in good health was 71.2 years old. Women have 71.7 years, while men are at 70.7 years.
I am really surprised at how low this is. I thought that older people were in good health in Switzerland. But it seems that many people do not consider themselves in good health.
Considering that at around 70, you have a high chance of not being healthy, it makes to pursue financial independence. You want your best years to be under your control. It is a great reason for Financial Independence.
19. The life expectancy is 83.5 years
In 2018, the average life expectancy was 83.5 years old. This is the current life expectancy at birth. Men have a life expectancy of 81.7 years, while women have an expectancy of 85.4 years.
These numbers are high. They are among the best life expectancies in the world. In the last twenty years, life expectancy in Switzerland has been growing very fast. In 1998, the life expectancy for men was only 76.3.
It shows the quality of the healthcare system in Switzerland. And this also shows that we have low pollution and high quality of life. However, the good health care system is to balance with its very high price, also among the most expensive in the world.
20. 8% of people are poor
In 2017, 8% of people of more than 16 years old were living under the poverty level. It means they did not have the means to live a social life. It does not mean they cannot eat or are on the streets.
The full definition is a bit complicated. But simply put, this means that after all mandatory expenses, they have less than 100 CHF per month per person.
The most impacted region is the state of Tessin, with about 13% of people living under the poverty level. And people that come from migration are also more impacted than others.
21. 11% of people have difficulty making ends meet
In 2017, 11% of people in Switzerland declared that they had difficulty in making ends meet. It means they are not able to save any money. And that they have difficulty in paying regular expenses as well.
Some of these people have very low incomes. But there are also some people in this category that simply do not know how to manage their money. It is a pretty sad statistic.
It shows that people in Switzerland have a pretty bad grasp of personal finance. I think that many more things should be taught during mandatory education. We learn plenty of useless things. But we do not learn anything about personal finance.
Another issue is that people do not talk about money in Switzerland. So, this does not help people learning about it.
22. Households live on 40 square meters per person
On average, in 2017, households lived on a surface of 40 square meters per person of the household. And single persons lived on an average of 80 square meters.
I would say this is not big. The living space has been decreasing significantly decade after decade. It is now increasingly difficult to find a big home or apartment. And the price per square meter has been increasing.
Just for comparison, a square meter is about 10.76 square feet.
23. People rent for 16 CHF per square meter
On average, in 2017, people paid 16 CHF per square meter for renting their apartments and houses.
This would mean that a 100 square meters apartment would rent for 1600 CHF. It is not that bad. For my small apartment, we pay 18.3 CHF per square meter. But if you have a larger apartment in the countryside, the price per square meter decreases.
But of course, this will highly depend on where you live in the country. The county next to me (less than five kilometers) has a 10% cheaper rental price. But if you to Zurich. The price per square meter is easily more than 40 CHF!
24. 38% of people own their home
In 2017, 38% of people in Switzerland owned their homes.
It is one of the money statistics that surprised me the most. I think this is quite high. I was not expecting such a high number. I have always heard that Switzerland was among the countries with the lowest home-ownership percentage. But 38% is quite high.
The rate has been increasing a lot in the last decades. In 1970, it was 28.5% only. The last decade, many people bought a house because of the very low-interest rates.
25. 47% of people have secondary level education
In 2018, 47% of people had a degree of secondary level. It is a professional degree or a college degree. It is not directly a money statistic. But this helps put in perspective some of the other statistics, especially regarding income.
For other people, 35% have a tertiary degree (bachelor, master, and Ph.D.). And the rest, 18%, finished mandatory school but did not pursue any other education.
Overall, 2.5% of people have a Ph.D. It is a high number when we consider the average of 1% in Europe. 50% of these doctors are foreign nationals.
The best source of money statistics for Switzerland is directly from the Government. I got a lot of money statistics from the Federal Statistics Office.
If you are speaking one of the national languages, you should check their website in one of them. They have more information than in English! If you do not, there is still a ton of information in English.
They are publishing many statistics:
- Employment statistics
- Income statistics
- Expenses statistics
- Retirement statistics
They have a wealth of information. The only problem is that it is not always easy to find everything. And most of the information is in PDF files. So you have to download many files to get the information you are looking for.
Another very good source of information for these money statistics is the Global Wealth Report from Credit Suite. If you like numbers, you will love this report. And if you do not like so many numbers, I hope my article synthesized this well!
I hope you liked these money statistics in Switzerland! I have learned a lot while doing my research for this post!
Even though I have been living in Switzerland for all my life, several of these statistics surprised me strongly! I had no idea, so many people lived without credit cards, for instance. And it scares me that so many have debts. I always thought that Swiss people were good with their money. But this is not really the case.
These money statistics also show that there are some huge disparities in Switzerland. There are many mega-rich people in Switzerland. But there are also many people that cannot afford to go to the doctor. And many people have a lot more debt than I would have thought.
So, yes, this is one of the richest countries in the world. But this is not one without poor people!
Which of these money statistics was the most interesting for you? Is there something missing you would like to add?
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22 thoughts on “25 Money Statistics about Switzerland”
Very interesting post, thanks for the research!
I just disagree on one thing: the leasing. First, I don’t think it can be categorized as a debt because it’s more like a type of rental.
Moreover, taking a leasing is not such a bad financial move. Many car makers now have their own leasing department and you can lease a car at rates below 1%. I know people hate to pay interest money, but I personally see it as a convenience fee so that I don’t have to take a considerable amount of money out of my account.
Another very important aspect is the loss of opportunity cost. Let’s say you want to buy a car for 20’000 CHF. You can either lease it for 0.9% and invest the 20’000 CHF and get a conservative 5% return, or you can buy it cash and save again over time to invest. In my opinion, I think it makes more sense to lease. The key here is stay within budget when choosing the car and options.
Although, for anyone wanting to save money, I strongly recommend buying a used car with cheap insurance and tax.
On another note now, I really enjoy reading your blog, thanks a lot for all the good content!
Thanks for sharing your point of view :)
I still think it’s a debt, but it’s true that it can be seen as a rental as well.
It’s true that there is a large opportunity cost to buying a car.
In my opinion, the main problem with leasing is not really the debt but the way people use it:
* People use leasing to buy a car they could not afford if they were paying it cash
* People use leasing to buy a new car every few years
If you buy a good reasonable car with leasing and drive it for 10 years, it could indeed be a good deal.
And that is only if you can get very good leasing rates. Many leasing are around 2.5% and should be avoided.
Thanks for stopping by!
I agree about point no 3. This is outrageous! The country has a long way to go compared to other European country from the north.
Yes, this is definitely a sad statistic. Fortunately, this has been improving over time, but very slowly.
Thanks for stopping by!
When you consider average welth, you should consider house prices.
Basically everyone owning a house or that will inherit a house in Switzerland, is rich!
I think that real estate is already taken into account in this statistic.
But when you inherit a house, you also inherit its debt, so I do not think they are all rich.
Thanks for stopping by!
Great article but for point 9, the number 11.8% is impossible.
If you follow the link below you will see (in 2016) that the number of people which have over 1M is 311,491 (183,481+52,444+37,016+22,908+15,642)
Related to the number of people at the end of 2016 : 8,417,700 (what I found on internet), it leads to a rate of 3.7%. It looks more correct compare to many articles that you can find on internet. Examples :
Actually, this number came from the global wealth report of Credit Suisse. But after reading it again, it is the percentage among adults. And most of the data is estimated. Now, I agree that this seems too high.
I have found information that in 2018, the number of millionaires was 4.6%. This seems more reasonable already.
Thanks for letting me know!
You are welcome. I found an interesting statistic on https://www.estv.admin.ch/estv/fr/home/allgemein/steuerstatistiken/fachinformationen/steuerstatistiken/direkte-bundessteuer/np_kanton_dbs_2016.html#871584480
Go to Cantons > CH and download the excel file. On the tab IIIa you have the revenu before IFD so it means that all revenus are included (dividends, real estate and so on). you can see that they splitted in 6 different classes. If you look at the first and second table in 2016 you can find that 46.04%(9.85+36.19) nearly half of the population have less than 59.7K before taxes. Definitely hard for this portion to invest money in stock market/real estate or to simply save money due to the high cost of living… Just to say that many people outside Switzerland think that because you live and work there everyone is rich. Absolutely not the case. For this portion, after removing taxes, insurances, rent, food, etc… there is not much left.
I completely agree with you that the opinion of Switzerland by foreigners is entirely skewed. Yes, we have a high level of life. I do not think we can complain. And at least 90% of the population live quite well. But it’s also true that many people do not have much left at the end of the year. I still believe that many people could still save more money. But most people in Switzerland are not rich!
Very good analysis!
Thanks for stopping by!
Another great post, that made me thinking again about my own status. Eventhough i knew most of the figures already, it boosted my own awareness again. I still feel like a victim of the lifestile inflation, eventhough i change my habits.
Thanks for your kind words!
It’s very good to be aware of your country. And Lifestyle Inflation is very difficult to fight in the long-term.
Thanks for stopping by!
> 5. The Average Wealth is 564’653 USD
> On average, in 2019, the wealth per adult was 264’653 USD.
There’s a typo in one of those sentences.
Good catch, thanks! The second one is wrong, I type a 2 instead of 5. This is now fixed in the article!
Thanks for letting me know!
Good summary. Was not aware that there are so many millionaires in CH :)
However, I have different opinion on men-women pay gap. Been in the employment market for 25 years or so now. Worked with (probably) hundreds of women, had 2 female bosses. Women work, on average, way worse. This is nothing personal, I love women, actually my female bosses were great, I would say better than male ones. But on average, working with women is more difficult and from a busienss perspective they can create more cost then men. I am not talking about biology – becoming a mother, taking paid leave etc. This is separete topic. But they take things personal, they never forget mistakes, they keep grudge for years etc. While it sounds trivial, it creates lots of problems, with productivity etc. Women are not paid less because employers hate them, exploit them etc. This is part of very complex calculation. On the other hand, there are women who are paid way way better then men (usually at the cost of their personal life such as family, kids etc). But thats another story.
Thanks for sharing your point of view.
I really do not know if that’s true. In my industry (Tech), there are very few women. And overall, I feel like the average level of women is higher than the average level of men. On the other hand, there are some Tech sub-domains for which the women I have worked with were worse than men. I just think this boils down to different strengths and weaknesses for both genders.
Thanks for stopping by!
The 12% less statistic is hard to interpret without some context. E.g. women more often than men work part time, and so 12% less overall pay might well mean that women earn 15% more per hour worked.
I agree. This is an average taking all the sectors into account. And this also takes into account the fact that more women are working in sectors that are less paid than men. But there is still a huge difference.
If you want more information, the statistics office has much information on gender-gap.
I don’t think that 12% is a huge gap and could be explained in various ways. e.g. motherhood, unpaid leave, working on less well paid sectors etc.
Take for example the IT sector which is one of the most well-paid sectors. The percentage of women is easily less than 10-20%.
It’s a good point that several sectors that are highly paid have fewer women.
However, there is definitely a gap in Switzerland pay, which should not exist.
Another spectacular idea for a post, thank you. I really enjoyed reading this one.
Thank you very much Sarah!