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Below the line


Number of people on poverty line remains stable


Some 590,000 people living in Switzerland were below the poverty threshold in 2012, roughly the same number as in the previous year, according to official statistics. That corresponds to 7.7% of all Swiss households..

The worst affected groups include people living in households with no income earners (20.2%) poverty rate among this group), single adults (17.9%), single parents (16.5%) and people with no higher educational qualifications ( 13.9%).

Some 130,000 people classed as living in the poverty trap were in employment in 2012.

The poverty threshold has been set at single people earning less than CHF2,200 ($2,460) per month or a household comprising two adults and two children with an income of less than CHF4,050.

Switzerland’s poverty rate barely moved from 7.4% recorded in 2011, but has dropped 1.6% since records were first started in 2007, according to the Federal Statistical Office.

Using international measurements of poverty, Switzerland’s rate of 15.9% is below that of the European Union (16.9%). And the rate of extreme poverty is significantly less in Switzerland (0.8%) than the EU (9.9%).

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