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Social system

Quarter of Swiss GDP goes towards social benefits

By swissinfo.ch and agencies

The Swiss social security system cost CHF157 billion ($161 billion) in 2014. This is a 24.5% share of gross domestic product (GDP) and corresponds to almost CHF19,100 per person.

This is below the European Union average for social spending of 28% of GDP.

The main share of the spending, CHF46.7 billion, went towards healthcare. A further CHF14.6 billion was spent on disability benefits, according to provisional results from 2014 published on Friday by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office.

Compared with the previous year, inflation-adjusted expenditure in non-EU Switzerland rose by 2.1%. This increase was below the average annual growth rate since 1990 of 3.3%. Since 1990 real expenditure has more than doubled.

While social spending now accounts for a quarter of GDP, in 1990 the figure was only 15%. The statistical office said this was likely connected, not least, to the federal law on occupational pension schemes, and the relevant old age, survivors’ and disability benefits, which came into force in 1985.

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swissinfo.ch and agencies


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