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Public finances How does Switzerland spend its taxpayers' money?

Italiener spielen Boccia vor dem Novartis Campus.

Switzerland is confronted with an ageing population and the rising health costs often linked to it, like many industrialised nations.

(Christian Aeberhard/13 Photo)

After the government revealed a large surplus in Switzerland's public finances earlier this week, we wondered how the country spends its money. 

+Read about Switzerland's large CHF2.8 billion surplus

Spending on social welfare remains the single largest expenditure, which cost taxpayers nearly CHF23 billion ($25 billion) last year, and was an increase of 1.6% on 2016. The rise was mainly due to pension payouts and high health costs.

Chart showing revenue and expenditures
(swissinfo.ch)

The biggest growth was seen in spending on education and research (+5.7% to CHF7.6 billion), in part due to additional funding needed to keep Switzerland part of the European research programme, Horizon 2020external link

The government had to set less aside for transport, with spending dropping year on year 0.6% to CHF9.1 billion.

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