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Subjective health

Health is important for wellbeing and subjective health can count even more than the presence or absence of illness. Although they are ill, people can feel well if they have access to treatment and their quality of life is not reduced. The European Social Survey (ESS) asks people how they rate their personal health in general.


Source: European Social Survey 2014 (Spain and UK: ESS 2012)

As expected, the subjective health of younger people is better in all countries than that of older people who are more frequently affected by health-related problems (for example hypertonia/high blood pressure, heart diseases, but also joint pains).

An inter-European comparison clearly shows that the perceived health of the Swiss population is better in all age groups than in other European countries (with the exception of Sweden). Even a considerable majority of the elderly population assess their health as good to very good; in contrast to, for example, Poland or Spain where elderly people exhibit significantly lower levels of subjective health. Switzerland is one of the countries where people not only live relatively long, but also benefit from a comparatively long healthy life expectancy.

Download data from the chart (Excel file)

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Swiss data from the ESS (FORS Nesstar)


Source of texts and charts is the Swiss Social Report 2016:

Franziska Ehrler, Felix Bühlmann, Peter Farago, François Höpflinger, Dominique Joye, Pasqualina Perrig-Chiello und Christian Suter (Hg.). Swiss Social Report 2016: Wellbeing. Zürich: Seismo-Verlag.