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Swiss youth don’t want to rock the boat

Something to celebrate: Swiss youth have it good, the survey says Keystone

Young people in Switzerland differ from their international peers in that they are more optimistic and see little need for political reform, the 2013 Credit Suisse Youth Barometer has found.

Around 1,000 people aged 16-25 from Switzerland, Brazil, the United States and Singapore were surveyed for the poll, which was published on Thursday. The results were influenced by each country’s economic situation and by job worries.

Swiss young people are “in a special position in many respects thanks to the country’s prosperity and dual education system”, Credit Suisse wrote in a statement. 

Youth unemployment is lower than in other countries – for example, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the percentage of the youth labour force out of a job in 2012 was 8.4% in Switzerland, but 16.2% in the US.

Many respondents in other countries were happy to have a job at all. Significantly more young people in Switzerland were satisfied with their job situation than in Brazil, the US and Singapore.

Many in Switzerland still see their chances of realising their dreams as extremely high, but feel that a good work-life balance is very important.

“The mainstream of Swiss young people is still very focused on friends and families, and there is no indication that they are interested in political revolution,” the statement added.

Their faith in the political system is even on the increase: for the first time – the survey has been carried out for four years – more than half of the young people surveyed believed that government and administrative policies were effective. Only a third demanded political reform, compared with 80% in Brazil.

Key issues were found to be immigration, integration of foreigners and freedom of movement. As in previous years, Swiss young people were also worried about retirement planning (37%) and unemployment/youth unemployment (32%) – despite the good economic situation.

Swiss youth were also revealed to be self-confident and proud of the country, giving it a higher rating for international reputation than any other of the respondents from other nations.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR