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Public statistical data

The Federal Statistical Office (FSO) surveys cover various themes, such as economics, education, mobility, and health, and aim for understanding the evolution of society in its entirety.

With the goal of promoting the use of public statistical data, the FORS data service:

Survey descriptions

Adult literacy and life skills survey (ALL)

The adult literacy and life skills survey (ALL) allows evaluation of human capital in Switzerland, providing information on the literacy, numeracy, and analytical skills of the resident population for the whole country and for the three linguistics regions. The survey was only conducted in 2003.

For more information on the survey and access to the data (only available in French and German):
https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/fr/home/statistiques/education-science/enquetes/all.html

Buildings and dwellings statistic (BDS)

The buildings and dwellings statistic (BDS) replaces the buildings and dwellings survey that used to take place every 10 years as part of the population census (PC). The BDS is based on the federal register of buildings and dwellings (RBD) in combination with data from the harmonised registers of residents (RR) and the structural survey (SS). It provides information on the structure of the whole buildings and dwellings stock and on the population’s living conditions (e.g. occupation density per room or dwelling, floor space per person).

For more information on the survey and access to the data: https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/en/home/statistics/construction-housing/surveys/gws2009.html

Business census (BC)

The business census (BC) is a survey of all second and third sector businesses and enterprises throughout Switzerland. Its aim is to collect complete data from all economic production units on economic, social and regional aspects. The BC is used to update the business and enterprise register (BER) and serves as a reference for various statistics. The BC was conducted until 2008 and then it was substituted by STATENT.

For more information on the survey and access to the data:
https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/en/home/statistics/industry-services/surveys/bz.html

Families and generations survey (FGS)

The families and generations survey has the aim of providing statistical information on the current situation and the evolution of families as well as information on relations between the generations. The data collected are used as the basis for monitoring developments and as input for more detailed analysis. They therefore contribute to the targeted focusing of family and generation politics in Switzerland.

For more information on the survey and access to the data:
https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/en/home/statistics/population/surveys/efg.html

Federal population census (FPC)

Every 10 years, from 1850 to 2000, a census was realized with the help of a questionnaire which had to be answered by the entire population of Switzerland. Its results showed the demographic, spatial, social and economic developments of the country. They were used for policy planning and decision-making in many areas: employment, education, family and social policies, environmental protection, transport and settlement policies, business development. The census was also a vital tool used in sampling surveys (weighting and extrapolation).

Starting with 2010, the population census takes place annually, under a new form. The FSO uses primarily data from population registers and combines them with sample surveys. Only a part of the population (about 5%) is interviewed, either by written questionnaires or by phone. Census statistics now include:

  1. basic statistics on persons and households called “Population and households statistics” (STATPOP);
  2. structural statistics (structural survey);
  3. topic-based statistics;
  4. statistics on topics of current interest (Omnibus surveys).

For more information on the survey and access to the data:
https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/en/home/statistics/population/surveys/vz.html

Household budget survey (HBS)

The purpose of the household budget survey (HBS) is to gather detailed data on the household budget of the resident population in Switzerland. Since January 2000, the survey has been conducted on a continuous basis. This month, as usual, about 250 households, randomly selected from the FSO random sample register, are taking part. Participation is not obligatory but the contribution of every single household chosen is very important. For a whole month, participating households make a note in the survey questionnaires of all income and expenditure. They receive advice from experienced specialists by telephone.

For more information on the survey and access to the data:
https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/en/home/statistics/economic-social-situation-population/surveys/hbs.html

Language, religion and culture survey (LRC)

The survey on language, religion and culture (LRC) has the aim of providing statistical information on the current situation and the evolution of practices in these areas. The data collected are used as the basis for monitoring developments and as input for more detailed analysis. They therefore contribute to the targeted focusing of multilingualism, integration and cultural politics in Switzerland.

For more information on the survey and access to the data:
https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/en/home/statistics/population/surveys/esrk.html

Mobility and transport microcensus (MTMC)

The mobility and transport microcensus (MTMC) provides information on the transportation behaviours of the Swiss population: ownership of vehicles, driving licenses and public transport subscriptions, daily intensity and reasons for travel, and means of transport used. The collected data provide a detailed picture of passenger traffic in Switzerland. They serve as a statistical reference for the development and monitoring of policy measures and provide input for in-depth analyses of transportation developments. The survey, which takes place every 5 years, is part of the new population census system.

For more information on the survey and access to the data (only available in French, German and Italian): https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/fr/home/statistiques/mobilite-transports/enquetes/mzmv.html

Population and households statistics (STATPOP)

The population and households statistics (STATPOP) are part of the surveys conducted within the framework of the Federal population census. The statistics provides information regarding population size and composition of the permanent resident population at the end of a year as well as population change during the same year. Together with the structural survey, they form the basis for statistics on households.

For more information on the survey and access to the data: https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/en/home/statistics/population/surveys/statpop.html

Social and economic conditions of student life (SSEE)

The survey on the social and economic situation of students (SSEE) is a quantitative survey, based on an online questionnaire. The survey population is comprised of all students registered at a Swiss higher education institution (university, federal institutes of technology, university of applied sciences and university of teacher education) with a view to obtaining a degree/diploma or a bachelor or master’s degree. This base population is clearly defined and identifiable thanks to the files of the Swiss university information system (SIUS).

For more information on the survey and access to the data:
https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/en/home/statistics/education-science/surveys/ssee.html

Social protection and labour market (SESAM)

The SESAM statistical project aims to provide an essential source for research on employment and social security schemes in Switzerland. This new source is composed of a linkage of data from the Swiss labour force survey (SLFS) with information gathered from different social insurance registers (old age, survivors’ and disability insurance (AVS/AHV); disability pensions (AI/IV); complementary benefits (PC/EL); and unemployment insurance (AC/ALV). The SLFS focuses mainly on the labour market but its modules also cover the topics of education and training, unpaid work, migration and social security. The contribution of data from registers to each SLFS makes it possible to broaden analyses of the fields of health, income, retirement and unemployment by merging the SESAM data gathered from registers with the SLFS data.

For more information on the survey and access to the data:
https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/en/home/statistics/work-income/surveys/sesam.html

Statistics on foreign residents (PETRA)

The statistics on foreign residents (PETRA) provide information on the size and structure of the resident population of foreign nationality as well as the components of the annual population change during the calendar year. Since 2010, these statistics have been incorporated into the population and households statistics (STATPOP).

For more information and access to the data (only available in French or German):
https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/fr/home/statistiques/population/enquetes/petra.html

Statistics on income and living conditions (SILC)

SILC (Statistics on Income and Living Conditions) is a representative survey of households in Switzerland. This instrument aims at studying poverty, social exclusion and living conditions on the basis of indicators that are comparable at the European level. This yearly survey is carried out through telephone interviews (CATI). The persons who participate in the survey are interviewed for several years. This setting aims at describing the important stages in individual trajectories and at studying changes in living conditions.

For more information on the survey and access to the data: https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/en/home/statistics/economic-social-situation-population/surveys/silc.html

Structural business statistics (STATENT)

STATENT provides central information on the structure of the Swiss economy (e.g. number of businesses, number of establishments, number of jobs, etc.) and an overview of Switzerland’s economic landscape. It is based on the registers of the AVS/AHV compensation funds and thus represents a methodological change, since it is no longer established on the basis of an exhaustive survey, but on the basis of registry data. STATENT replaces the business census (BC), conducted for the last time in 2008.

For more information on the survey and access to the data (only available in French, German and Italian): https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/fr/home/statistiques/industrie-services/enquetes/statent.html

Structural survey

Conducted since 2010, the structural survey is a component of the new population census and complements information obtained from registers with additional statistics on the population composition. The main focus of this survey is the observation of the socio-economic and socio-cultural structures of the population in Switzerland. In this survey, a sample of the population fills in a written questionnaire. The first results are available one year after the reference day.

For more information on the survey and access to the data: https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/en/home/statistics/population/surveys/se.html

Survey of higher education graduates (EHA)

The survey’s main focus is the employment and educational situation of graduates of institutions of higher education one and five years after graduation. Among the questions it seeks to answer are: How does the labour force participation rate change? What are the decisive factors for a successful transition to the labour market? The survey findings are used as an information tool for various institutions of higher education and as guidelines for educational and employment authorities and career counselling services.

For more information on the survey and access to the data:
https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/en/home/statistics/education-science/surveys/ashs.html

Survey on diversity and coexistence in Switzerland (SDC)

The survey on diversity and coexistence in Switzerland (SDC) aims to present an accurate picture of the issues raised by the coexistence of different groups currently living in Switzerland. It collects information on the acceptance, rejection and integration of certain groups of the population. The survey also allows monitoring of trends in society in several areas such as racism, xenophobia, hostility – in particular towards Muslims, black people and Jews – or discrimination.

For more information on the survey and access to the data:
https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/en/home/statistics/population/migration-integration/diversity-coexistence-switzerland.html

Swiss adult education survey (CH-AES)

The Swiss adult education survey (CH-AES) provides information on the educational and training behaviour of the Swiss population: highest level of education, current education and on-going training, and independent non-institutional learning. The data collected form the basis for the statistical observation of the education and training sectors, the preparation of policy decisions in this domain, and the development of in-depth analyses.

For more information on the survey and access to the data (only available in French and German): https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/fr/home/statistiques/education-science/enquetes/mzb.html

Swiss earnings structure survey (ESS)

The Swiss earnings structure survey (ESS) is a written survey, carried out every two years in enterprises in Switzerland. It allows a regular description to be made of the earnings structure in all economic activities of the secondary and tertiary sectors based on representative data. It not only enquires after the economic activity and the size of the enterprise concerned, but also the individual characteristics of employees and their jobs. The ESS has been carried out since 1994 (reference year).

For more information on the survey and access to the data:
https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/en/home/statistics/work-income/surveys/ess.html

Swiss health survey (SHS)

The Swiss health survey (SHS) provides information on the health status of the population and its determinants, on the consequences of illness, on the use of health services, and on insurance conditions. Its periodicity makes it possible to observe developments in this domain and to study the effects of health policy measures. It has been held every five years since 1992.

For more information on the survey and access to the data (only available in French, German and Italian): https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/fr/home/statistiques/sante/enquetes/sgb.html

Swiss labour force survey (SLFS)

Conducted for the first time in 1991, the Swiss labour force survey (SLFS) is sent out to individuals every year. The main purpose of the SLFS is to provide information on the structure of the labour force and employment behaviour patterns. Strict adherence to international definitions allows Swiss data to be compared with OECD and EU data. Since 2010, the SLFS is conducted on a continuous basis.

For more information on the survey and access to the data:
https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/en/home/statistics/work-income/surveys/slfs.html

Vital statistics (BEVNAT)

Annual statistics of births, marriages, divorces, deaths, recognitions of paternity, adoptions and registered partnerships, BEVNAT is one of the main statistics for monitoring marriage and family patterns in Switzerland. They also provide benchmarks for the population and household statistics (STATPOP), population forecasts and the calculation of demographic indicators.

For more information and access to the data (only available in French and German): https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/fr/home/statistiques/population/enquetes/bevnat.html


Thematic comparison

The public statistics surveys can be compared using six major dimensions, five of which are divided into subcategories:

  1. Work, income and consumption
  2. Family, values and media
  3. Housing and mobility
  4. Health, sport and leisure
  5. Education and training
  6. Population structure

Scores from 0 to 4 have been attributed to each dimension and subcategory to indicate if they are very little, partially, or very well covered by the survey. Evaluations have been carried out by FORS data service together with our partners at the Federal Statistical Office. While each survey has been assessed individually, evaluations have also been balanced to be comparable across surveys.

Legends

0 star – Not covered

1 star – Little coverage
The survey offers a single variable / indicator on this theme.

2 stars – Partial coverage
The topic is addressed. It is a secondary theme which how-ever offers interesting possibilities of analysis. A section of the survey is devoted to this theme.

3 stars – Good coverage
The theme is largely represented in the survey, but is not the sole theme. Other surveys at the Federal Statistical Office tackle this subject in greater depth.

4 stars – Very good coverage
It is a central theme of the survey. The survey provides extensive data on this topic, unique within the Federal Statistical Office.

 

General table – with the six dimensions

Comparaisonthematique_genE

 

Specific tables – per dimension

 

1 – Work, income and consumption

Comparaisonthematique_sp1E

 

2 – Family, values and media

Comparaisonthematique_sp2E

 

3 – Housing and mobility

Comparaisonthematique_sp3E

 

4 – Health, sport and leisure

Comparaisonthematique_sp4E

 

5 – Education and training

Comparaisonthematique_sp5E