The Swiss: long-lived, generous and foreign

The Swiss: long-lived, generous and foreign

The Swiss are more likely to live long lives, are more generous with their time and money and are more likely to be foreign-born than people in other countries.


The findings have been published in the “Society at a Glance” survey by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which looks at social trends and policies for its 34 member countries.

At over 82 years, the Swiss have the second highest life expectancy, ranking only behind the Japanese (82.7 years) and well above the OECD average of 79.3 years, the organization said. At the same time, Swiss health spending is the third highest in the OECD, amounting to 10.7 percent of GDP, after the United States and France.

An average of 55 percent of Swiss people volunteer time, give charity money and help strangers, ranking as the sixth most pro-social citizens in the OECD, well above the average of 39 percent. The population also enjoys the highest employment rate and the fourth lowest unemployment rate, with 79.2 percent of the working age population employed.

Fertility appears to be an issue for Swiss women, with 1.5 children per woman and a fertility rate below the OECD average at 1.74. Swiss fertility is similar to its northern, southern and eastern neighbors, such as Germany (1.36), Austria (1.39), and Italy (1.41) and lower than its western neighbor, France (1.99). 

Lastly, the survey found that one quarter of Swiss people are foreign-born, the highest figure in the OECD after Luxembourg and Israel and more than double the OECD average of 11.7 percent.  




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