Last year was characterised by a sharp increase in the number of deaths and a fall in the number of births, marriages, registered partnerships and divorces, according to provisional findings from the Federal Statistical Office.
The number of deaths rose 5.2% from 63,900 in 2014 to 67,300 – the highest figure since 1918, when 75,000 Swiss died in the Spanish flu pandemic.
The increase was higher in women (5.6%) than men (4.7%) and those aged 65 or over (6%). Elderly people were hit in particular by the flu at the beginning of the year and the heatwave in July.
France, Germany, Italy and Britain also reported an increase in deaths.
At the other end of the life spectrum, Switzerland saw 84,840 births in 2015, 450 fewer than the previous year. As usual, more boys appeared on the scene than girls: 43,750 to 41,100.
The average age of mothers continued to increase, from 31.7 to 31.9 years old.
Given that there were fewer births and more deaths in 2015 than 2014, the natural population change was less marked but remained positive at 17,600. This contributed to Switzerland’s growing population, provisionally 8.3 million for the third quarter of 2015.
Tying and untying the knot
The number of marriages, registered partnerships and divorces all dropped last year.
Despite an increasing population, the 40,700 marriages were 2.8% fewer than 2014. Registered partnerships for same-sex couples also fell by 3.2% to just under 700.
The number of divorces has been decreasing since 2006, dropping last year by 0.4% to 16,670.
swissinfo.ch and agencies