Swiss neighbours there for one another despite keeping distance

A quarter of Swiss occasionally look after neighbours’ children or pets Keystone / Jean-christophe Bott

Most people in Switzerland maintain a somewhat distant relationship with their neighbours, but they trust them nevertheless, according to the first Swiss study into neighbourhoods.

This content was published on August 2, 2022 - 11:52

Only 12% of respondents said they knew their neighbours very well, said the representative “Hello Neighbour” studyExternal link, published on Tuesday by the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute (GDI).

Three-quarters said they felt very safe in their neighbourhood and almost no one was dissatisfied with their relationship with their neighbours. This is reflected in everyday life: 67% lend food ingredients or tools to neighbours, 48% water plants and 26% occasionally look after neighbours’ children or pets.

The authors divided respondents into four types. Almost half (47%) are “distanced”: they do not want to be disturbed or be a burden. If they need something, they do it themselves. Nevertheless, they are on hand in an emergency.

Another 30% are described as “inspiration seekers”. For them, tolerance and stimulating encounters are paramount. They value collective action and diversity.

“Relationship cultivators”, who strive for a friendly atmosphere in a homogeneous neighbourhood, make up a smaller group (14%) and only about 10% of “value-oriented people” want to live among like-minded people with whom they share similar values. Instead of close relationships, however, members of this group also want a respectful distance and a considerate approach.

The frequency of contact with neighbours was just right for 81% of respondents; 16% wanted more contact, 2% less contact.

The GDI study was carried out in May and was based on interviews as well as online responses of 1,021 people aged 15-79 from all language regions.

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

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