Statistics counts for you.

Why and how? Find out on the following pages!


Official statistics are essential to democratic debate based on solid facts. They provide information on population growth, the economic situation and the level of education as well as on society, spatial planning and the environment, as shown in these graphs.

On behalf of government and Parliament, the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) collects data with the support of its various partners. As national centre for official statistics in Switzerland, it coordinates surveys to ease the burden on businesses in particular.

The FSO produces objective and well-founded data. Data that can be counted on. Data that enable comparisons with other countries and that show where we have come from and where we are going. Statistics counts. For you too!


How many people live in Switzerland?
Permanent resident population at the end of 2022: 8815385

How many marriages and registered partnerships were entered into?
40938 Marriages, 199 Registered partnerships in 2022

What are the most common first names in the population?
In 2022: Daniel, Peter, Thomas – Maria, Anna, Sandra

The FSO provides reliable figures on the population, its different nationalities, its age structure and employment. In so doing, it not only describes the past but provides an essential foundation for the future to plan for public infrastructure such as schools and old people’s homes or roads and railways.

Social security

How many people are dependent on social assistance benefits because of their income?
Number of social assistance recipients in 2022: 256800

How high is annual social services expenditure?
Expenditure on social benefits in 2022: CHF 208 bn

What is the ratio of total social expenditure to gross domestic product (GDP)?
Expenditure on the system of social security benefits, as % of the GDP in 2022: 26.6%

The FSO keeps a record of how our social security is doing, how much social benefits cost as well as where the money comes from and where it goes. This creates transparency, enabling policy makers to distribute resources correctly. Findings can also help predict where funding bottlenecks might occur in future.


What is the percentage of women in the National Council? How has this percentage changed since the introduction of the right to vote for women in 1971?
Women in the National Council progress from 1971 to 2023. Result on election day:

  • 1971: 5%
  • 1991: 17.5%
  • 2019: 42%
  • 2023: 38.5%

How many federal popular votes have there been since the creation of the Federal State in 1848?
Federal popular votes 666 proposals in 323 polls, since 1848

What was the voter turnout of the past five years?
Voter participation average value for last 5 years: 50%

Switzerland depends on its direct democracy. The FSO documents and analyses elections and referendums and publishes the latest figures on the Sunday of the federal vote and elections. The FSO also maintains historical overviews with many dating as far back as 1848.

National economy

What percentage of the Swiss economy is accounted for by agriculture, industry and services?
In 2022:

  • Agriculture: 0.6%
  • Industry: 25.6%
  • Services: 73.8%

How high is the Swiss gross national income in absolute figures and per capita?
Gross domestic product (GDP) CHF 781,5 bn at current prices, provisional CHF 88717 per inhabitant in 2022

How much do private households have left to save at the end of the month?
Savings rate of private households as a % of the gross disposable income incl. the 2nd pillar in 2022 23.8%

The FSO compiles important information on the Swiss economy – on such diverse topics as inflation, business statistics and the National Accounts. These data help provide consumers with fair prices and help the Swiss economy to recognise sectoral trends in good time.

Education and science

How many children attend compulsory education in Switzerland?
Schoolchildren, in the school year 2022/23: 1011406

How many teachers teach in compulsory education?
Teachers in compulsory education, in the school year 2021/22: 104944

How much money does Switzerland spend on educating its population?
Educational public expenditure in 2021 CHF 41.3 bn

Education is the foundation of every society. The FSO provides the necessary information on all levels of education. This enables the education authorities and policy makers to plan educational programmes ahead, to set them up and strengthen them – from kindergarten, through compulsory education to the higher education institutes and continuing education.


What percentage of the Swiss population say they are in good health?
Share of the population in good health in 2022: 85%

How many people are dependent on hospital treatment?
Share of the population hospitalised throughout the year in 2022: 12%

What does our health system cost?
Health expenditure in 2021: CHF 86.3 bn (11.8% of the GDP)

With comprehensive surveys on health and health care provision, the FSO makes an important contribution to the recording of disease, treatment and the population’s health behaviour. This also reveals where and for what reason health costs are increasing and where bottlenecks in health care provision can be expected.

Territory, environment and sustainable development

What is the proportion of recycled waste in total material consumption in Switzerland?
Circular material use rate: 14% in 2021

What percentage of the Swiss population lives in urban communes?
65% in 2022

How much surface area have glaciers and firn fields lost in the Swiss Alps?
33% or 505 km2 between 1985 and 2018

The land use statistics provide data that is essential for spatial planning. The environmental satellite account provides an important basis for decision making in Swiss policy. Furthermore, large amounts of data from the federal statistics are fed into an indicator system which measures Switzerland’s progress with regard to sustainable development.

Mobility and transport

How many cars drive on Swiss roads?
Passenger car stocks in 2023: 4760948

What trends can be seen in goods transport by road and rail?
Transport performance of goods transport: 62% Road, 38% Rail. Change 1980–2022

How far do commuters in Switzerland travel to their place of work?
Average commute for work purpose in 2022: 13.7 km

The federal statistics data series provide information on people’s behaviour towards mobility and their use of the infrastructure as well as providing figures on the resulting costs and environmental damage. This information is an important basis for decision-making with regard to investments in transport infrastructure and security improvements.

Industry and services

How many new businesses are founded in one year?
Newly founded enterprises in 2021: 43037

How many jobs are there in Switzerland?
Jobs 4th quarter 2023: 5487843, in full-time equivalents: 4263872

How much does Switzerland export? How much are its imports worth?
Total imports in 2022: CHF 341.0 bn
Total exports in 2022: CHF 382.7 bn

Economic statistics are useful to every business: when choosing new locations, for comparisons with rival companies, for calculating personnel costs or the availability of specialists. Economic statistics are also a basis on which to make important decisions. The Swiss National bank uses them for its monetary policy.

The FSO’s new areas of responsability

How can official statistics reduce the burden on businesses and individuals when answering questionnaires? Good question! By creating the necessary infrastructure and processes for the exchange of harmonised data within the administration so that they only have to be collected once and can be used multiple times.

For data to be reusable, they must be “interoperable”. This means they must be described in a uniform way, so that everyone understands what they are about. And they depend on a technical basis that enables exchange. The Confederation’s new interoperability platformI14Y ensures exactly this.

The FSO is rising to current and future challenges with innovations in digitalisation and new data science methods, techniques and practices. A new centre of excellence for data science has been launched for this purpose. It began operations in 2021 and advises other federal agencies on data science and artificial intelligence.

Federal statistics should also be able to make greater use of the possibilities of artificial intelligence. Various projects using methods from machine learning and the field of artificial intelligence have been initiated for this purpose. A new competence network for artificial intelligence makes it possible to share knowledge gained within the federal administration, use synergies and avoid redundancies.

Why statistics count

Statistics are an important point of reference in an increasingly complex world. In a modern government their role is to objectify: They turn mere supposition into knowledge and can bring emotional debates back to reality. Without statistics politics, economy and the society – all of us – risk making decisions on the basis of false assumptions. For this reason the Federal Statistical Office counts. On you too.

Impressum and contacts

Do you have any questions? Contact us!

+41 58 463 60 11

Media Office
+41 58 463 60 13

Federal Statistical Office (FSO)
Espace de l’Europe 10
2010 Neuchâtel