Swiss perspectives in 10 languages

Swiss among most prepared to defend their country

Swiss Army infantry recruits

The Swiss are more prepared to defend their homeland than citizens in neighbouring countries like France, Italy, Austria or Germany, according to polls in 65 countries.

As many as 39% of the Swiss population is ready to take up arms for their country compared with 29% in France, 21% in Austria and Spain, 20% in Italy and 18% in Germany. That’s according to an online poll conducted by Leger Switzerland, formerly known as Isopublic, which asked 1,000 people older than 18 in the German and French-speaking regions of Switzerland about their readiness for defence.

Similar surveys were conducted by different polling institutes in other countries, and Gallup International compiled an international comparison.

Worldwide, the readiness for defence is highest in countries like Morocco and the Fiji Islands with 94% each, as well as in Afghanistan and Georgia with 76%. In China, 71% of citizens say they’re ready to defend their country, as are 59%  in Russia and 44% in the United States. The lowest rates are 11% in Japan and 15% in the Netherlands, according to Gallup.

In the Swiss poll, respondents were asked whether they would be prepared to fight for Switzerland if the country was involved in a war, according to Jürg Gujan, head of research at Leger.  

He added that on the other hand, 47% of people polled in Switzerland would refuse to defend their homeland and 14% had no opinion.

Deeply Read

Most Discussed

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here . Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR