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Number of single-parent households doubled since 1970

Some 15.5% of households are run by single parents according to the latest stats. © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

New statistics reveal that there are now two times more single-parent households in Switzerland than in 1970, the vast majority of which are run by single mothers.

This content was published on February 27, 2020 - 14:35
Keystone-SDA/jdp

According to figures published by the Federal Office of StatisticsExternal link on Thursday, in 2018 around 72% of the 1.2 million households in Switzerland were managed by married couples with children. 

The second most common family structure was a single-parent household at 15.5%. Some 143,000 single-parent households were managed by mothers with children under 25 years old compared to 28,800 by fathers.


Couples with consensual unions are the third most common family form (6.5%). Same-sex couples are still a small minority (0.1%). At the end of January, the government announced it was in favour of a proposal to give homosexual couples the right to marry quickly. 

However, it said the topic of medically assisted procreation should be addressed at a later stage.

Homeownership stats

The Federal Office of StatisticsExternal link also released new figures on homeownership which found that nearly half of Swiss residents own a property. However, there are big differences between cantons.

Italian-speaking Ticino in the south, known as a retirement canton, boasts the largest percentage of homeowners with around 70% of the population owning a home. Among the seven major regions, greater Zurich and Geneva sport the lowest rates at 43.9% and 44.4%, respectively.

The homeownership rate is slightly lower, with about 38% of properties occupied by owners throughout Switzerland. In canton Valais, which has a strong tradition of home ownership, the ratio is highest with 57.3% of properties occupied by owners. In contrast, Basel City and Geneva have home ownership rates around 20%.

Between 1990 and 2005, the percentage of owner-occupiers increased from 30% to 36% but has been fairly stable since 2010. Residents over 65 years old are among the most frequent homeowners at about 48%.


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