Social Aspects – Facts and Figures

Switzerland offers its residents a very high level of social security protection. Switzerland also has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe.

Heart operation
Heart surgery at the Inselspital Bern © FDFA, Presence Switzerland


  • Compulsory health insurance premiums vary considerably from canton to canton. The same insurance policy will cost 1.8 times as much in Basel-Stadt as in Appenzell-Innerrhoden.
  • In 2005 Switzerland introduced a maternity insurance scheme, 60 years after it was enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
  • The Swiss health care system is one of the most expensive in the world. The country spends 11.7% (2014) of its gross domestic product (GDP) on health care, which is well above the OECD average (9%).
  • Only the United States has higher per capita health-care costs than Switzerland.
  • On average, Swiss households spend 14.8% of their gross income on rent, 8.2% on transport and 5.7% on entertainment, relaxation and culture.
  • Switzerland has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe, standing at 3.3% in April 2017.
  • 8 billion hours are worked annually in Switzerland (2016) and the average monthly wage was CHF 6,427 in 2014.
  • Every year around 195 million hours in overtime are worked (2015).
  • The average working week in Switzerland is 41.7 hours.