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Young Swiss are a stressed generation

Social media and smartphones are part of life for Swiss young people Keystone

Today’s youth wants everything at once: a good career and a work-life balance, the 2016 Credit Suisse Youth Barometer has found. But this and the increasing use of smartphones and apps are making this generation stressed out.

The representative survey, carried out in Switzerland, the United States, Singapore, and Brazil, and published on Tuesday, also revealed that politics on the web works, and that one of the greatest concerns of Swiss 16-25-year-olds is migration.

“The young people surveyed in Switzerland, Brazil, Singapore, and the US want to have everything in life: a career, but with a good work-life balance; to be independent and to work at an international company; to save less, but also own their own home,” a Credit Suisse statement saidExternal link.

They are constantly online to communicate with each other, access the news, play games and discover new platforms (Snapchat is very popular in Switzerland).

“All this allows us to conclude that today’s youth is turning into a ‘stressed’ generation,” added the statement.

Internet democracy

A majority of those surveyed in Switzerland and abroad consider it good that political issues can be commented on and discussed online via the internet and social media. They see this as a benefit for politics.

But young people are also aware of the negative side: major controversies and potentially manipulated political content on Facebook and Twitter.

In Switzerland, 39% of those surveyed think that internet democracy facilitates co-determination.

Free newspapers

In terms of news, Swiss young people either catch up with news online several times a day or not at all. Free newspapers are still the most important source of news for 62% of young people in Switzerland, down from 75% in 2010. Competition from news portals and news apps as well as Facebook is rising sharply.

Asked which media they trust, those surveyed said Swiss public radio and television, SRF, as well as the NZZ, and Tages-Anzeiger broadsheets. Purely digital channels are at the bottom of the ranking: YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.


The refugee issue has gained importance in Switzerland. In the first Youth Barometer in 2010 it was described as a problem by 22% of those surveyed, in 2016 it is 46%.

“Foreigners and immigration” is also a cause of concern for 45%. These two issues top the list of “Switzerland’s greatest problems.”

This is in line with surveys carried out among the Swiss electorate. In the 2015 Credit Suisse Worry BarometerExternal link, around 43% of those surveyed described “issues regarding foreigners” and 35% “refugees/asylum seekers” as Switzerland’s key problem. Solutions in the area of environmental protection and unemployment are considered less urgent by young people.

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