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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 large 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 much 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 hand, we are saving much more than that 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 incomes.
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.
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 debt but not mortgages, 39.4% of the population has at least one debt. It could be a debt to a friend or a late bill payment.
What saddens me 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 lived 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-used, 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.
Compared 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 or 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 a university education are unemployed.
12. 35% of people are working part-time
This statistic is impressive to me! In 2018, more than a third of employed people in Switzerland worked part-time.
The average in Europe is only 19.2%! Only the Netherlands (with 50.1%) has a higher proportion of part-time workers than Switzerland.
There is a huge difference between women and men on this. Only 14.9% of men worked part time, 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 work 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 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 at atypical times
In 2018, 15% o the employed people in Switzerland worked with an atypical schedule. It means people working during the night or on the weekend, or on call.
There are many sectors where such work is necessary. For instance, in healthcare, you need to work 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 few 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, 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. 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 sense 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 balanced with its very high price, also among the most expensive in the world.
20. 8% of people are poor
In 2017, 8% of people 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 learn 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.
23. People rent for 16 CHF per square meter
On average, in 2017, people paid 16 CHF per square meter to rent their apartments and houses.
This would mean that a 100 square meters apartment would rent for 1600 CHF. It is not that bad. For our previous apartment, we paid 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 near me (less than five kilometers) has a 10% cheaper rental price. But if you go to Zurich, the price per square meter is 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. In 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 people with doctorates 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 speak 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 seek.
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 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 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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