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Income struggles Poverty in Switzerland increases by almost 10% in one year

Volunteers at a food charity in Lausanne in February

Volunteers at a food charity in Lausanne in February


Around 670,000 people are affected by poverty in Switzerland, according to the Federal Statistical Office. Poverty rose from 7.5% to 8.2% of the population between 2016 and 2017, an increase of almost 10%. 

The groups most affected were those living alone or in single-parent households with children under 18, those with no post-compulsory education and those living in households where no-one works, the Swiss social statistics report 2019external link revealed on Thursday. 

In 2017, the most recent year for which figures are available, the poverty line in Switzerlandexternal link was on average CHF2,259 ($2,292) per month for a single person and CHF3,990 per month for a household with two adults and two children under the age of 14. 

+ Find out more about children living in poverty in affluent Switzerlandexternal link

Despite a strong economy, the number of people affected by poverty in Switzerland has been rising steadily since 2014. 

In 2017, 4.3% of all employed people in Switzerland were affected by poverty: 165,000 individuals. 

The following groups were particularly affected by poverty despite being employed: those who worked for only part of the year; those who worked mainly part-time; self-employed people; those with a temporary contract; and those employed in small businesses. 

An analysis by the statistical office shows that many more people than assumed experience poverty in Switzerland: over the past four years some 12.8% have been poor for at least a year.


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