Immigrants in Switzerland more trusting of institutions

Those of an immigrant background also trust the police forces marginally more. Keystone / Alessandro Crinari

Although their material conditions are worse, people of an immigrant background in Switzerland profess more trust in political and judicial institutions than born and bred Swiss.

This content was published on July 28, 2020 - 12:38

While 41% of the latter trust the political system, the figure is 53% for those with an immigrant background, according to 2019 figures published by the Federal Statistical Office.

The same goes for the judicial system (50% and 60% respectively) and the police force (65% and 70%).

Immigrants are also (almost) as likely as natural Swiss to participate politically, when they have the rights. In 2019, almost 60% of this group took part in at least eight of 19 available votes, while the figure was 67% for the Swiss.

On the other hand, immigrant-origin residents in Switzerland (i.e. over 25% of the population) have generally worse financial and material conditions.

For example, 6% of first-generation immigrants live in poverty. The figure for second-generation and non-immigrants is 3%. Some 6.1% of non-Swiss benefit from social welfare, compared to 2.3% of Swiss passport-holders.

When it comes to housing, second-generation immigrants experience most problems, such as the lack of proper amenities or living in areas judged to be too noisy.

The statistics office said on Tuesday that an immigration background was not the sole factor determining these differences; other variables like age and education are also important, it said.

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