Selected results

17.02.2020

Faith in God decreases

Belief in the existence of God (% of respondents)
  • 1998
  • 2018
The survey MOSAiCH 2018 on the subject of religion shows that fewer and fewer people believe in God. While in 1998 only about 4% of those questioned said that they did not believe in God, this proportion rose to about 15% in 2018. At the same time, from 1998 to 2018, the proportion of people who said that they knew that God existed and had no doubt about it fell from almost 27% to 20%. In contrast, the percentage of respondents who stated that they do not believe in a personal God, but that there is some higher power, remained about the same. This shows that a large part of the population is still unsure whether God exists. In 2018 only 20% are certain that there is a God, and only 15% are certain that there is no God. So 65% of the respondents are undecided or think that it is not possible to find out.

Michael Ochsner, Senior researcher FORS, and International Surveys Team

Exact response options: 
1 – I don’t believe in God / 2 – I don’t know whether there is a God, and I don’t believe that there is any way to find out / 3 – I don’t believe in a personal God, but I do believe in a Higher Power of some kind/ 4 – I find myself  believing in God some of the time, but not at others / 5 – While I have doubts, I feel that I do believe in God / 6 – I know God really exists and I have no doubts about it

17.02.2020

Alternative spirituality is trending

Faith, spirituality and spiritual practices (% of respondents)
  • 1998
  • 2009
  • 2018
Asked whether they believe in God, regardless of doubts, significantly fewer people in 2018 claim to be believers than in previous years. Whereas in 1998 around 72% of those surveyed said that they believed in God, this proportion fell to 66% in 2009 and even to 52% in 2018. In contrast, the proportion of people who claim to have meditated in the last 12 months increased massively between 2009 and 2018 from around 15% to around 37% (no data available for 1998). Similarly, the proportion of respondents who stated that they had practiced yoga in the last 12 months rose from around 8% to around 22% over the same period. The proportion of people who describe themselves as spiritual has remained stable between 2009 and 2018 despite the decline in the belief in God.

Michael Ochsner, Senior researcher FORS, and International Surveys Team

17.02.2020

Yoga as a non-spiritual activity

Proportion of yoga practitioners by religiousness and spirituality (in %)
  • 2009
  • 2018
Reading example: In 2009, 3% of people who describe themselves as non-spiritual and non-religious practice yoga.

Source: MOSAiCH 2009, MOSAiCH 2018

If, in recent years, faith in God has declined, the practice of yoga has increased massively. At the same time the proportion of people who call themselves spiritual has remained constant, as if yoga as a source of spirituality is replacing conventional faith in God. However, in a comparison of time we see that the increase in yoga is especially due to people who call themselves non-spiritual. While from 2009 to 2018 the proportion of yoga practitioners among those who describe themselves as “spiritual and religious” did not quite double, the proportion of yoga practitioners among those who describe themselves as “non-spiritual and non-religious” increased sixfold. This shows that yoga has established itself as a non-spiritual activity: Whereas in 2009 only 25% of yoga practitioners described themselves as non-spiritual, it is 45% in 2018.

Michael Ochsner, Senior researcher FORS, and International Surveys Team

17.02.2020

The link between faith and rejection of homosexuality becomes stronger

Attitudes towards homosexuality from 1998 to 2018 (% of respondents)
  • 1998
  • 2009
  • 2018
The answers to the question what the respondents think about sexual relations between two adults of the same sex show that homosexuality is becoming more and more accepted. In 1998, about 48% of respondents thought that homosexuality is never wrong (the answer categories were: always wrong; almost always wrong; wrong only sometimes, not wrong at all). In 2018, almost 64% shared this opinion. This is also related to the decline in faith in God: People who believe in God reject homosexuality much more than people who do not believe in God. Our analyses show that believers are clearly overrepresented among people who find homosexuality wrong in every or almost every case, and that this correlation has become stronger in the last 20 years. In 1998, about 72% were believers in the total population, whereas among the people who believed that homosexuality is always wrong, about 86% were believers. In 2018, only about 52% of the total population are believers, but the proportion of believers among those who believe that homosexuality is always wrong is still about 82%. However, this is not because more believers have a negative attitude towards homosexuality, but because more people who accept homosexuality are no longer believers.

Michael Ochsner, Senior researcher FORS, and International Surveys Team

14.12.2018

Many contacts with parents and friends

At least one contact per week (% of respondents)

Adult children 84%
Parents 81%
Friends 70%
Siblings 54%
Other family members 38%
In total at least one contact with family or friends per week 94%
Source: MOSAiCH 2017
Contacts between parents and children are very common in Switzerland: over 80% of MOSAiCH 2017 respondents say they have more than weekly contact with their parents and adult children ( provided they do not live with them). Over 70% of respondents also have contact with friends at least once a week. Weekly contact with siblings is also common (54% of respondents). Unsurprisingly, contact with other family members is less regular, but still quite frequent (38%). Overall, the vast majority of respondents (97%) have contact with family members they do not live with or with friends at least once a week.

Michael Ochsner, Senior researcher FORS, and International Surveys Team

14.12.2018

Little corruption in Switzerland

Percentage of the population who consider corruption to be low and express confidence in government officials (% of respondents)
  • Practically no or few corrupt politicians
  • Practically no or few corrupt officials
  • Strong or very strong confidence that high officials are doing their best for the country.
The respondents to the MOSAiCH study rate the corruption of politicians and civil servants to be low or non-existent. This perception has increased further in the last ten years. While in 2007 around 55% of respondents considered practically no or only a few politicians to be corrupt, in 2017 the figure was 64%. The same development can be seen in the corruption of civil servants. Confidence that high civil servants are doing the best for the country has also increased, albeit to a much lesser extent. The percentage of people who strongly or very strongly agree that one can rely on most high-level officials doing the best for the country rises only from 53% to 56% and remains statistically insignificant.

Michael Ochsner, Senior researcher FORS, and International Surveys Team

14.12.2018

Against EU membership, but for the bilateral treaties

Approval of EU accession, bilateral agreements and mass immigration initiatives (% of respondents)
  • For EU accession
  • Rather for bilateral treaties than immigration restrictions
  • Would vote today for mass immigration initiative
EU membership is currently not an option for the Swiss population. The proportion of respondents who are in favour of joining the EU has fallen steadily in recent years. While in 2007 around 40% of respondents were still in favour of joining the EU, in 2017 only 15% are still in favour of joining the EU. At the same time, however, bilateral treaties are enjoying great and increasing popularity. This is particularly relevant in the context of the discussion on the implementation of the mass immigration initiative, as it is incompatible with the bilateral treaties. Before deciding whether immigration should be limited or whether the bilateral agreements should be adhered to, around two thirds (67%) would have opted for the bilateral treaties in 2017. This is a slight increase compared to 2015. The discussions on the implementation of the mass immigration initiative and the bilateral treaties with the EU seem to have influenced the respondents: For example, if the mass immigration initiative were voted on again today, only 36% of respondents would still vote in favour of the mass immigration initiative, while in 2015 43% of respondents would still have put a “yes” in the ballot box. It should be noted that this question could be answered by everyone, not just the citizens with right to vote.

Michael Ochsner, Senior researcher FORS, and International Surveys Team

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