Wawrinka, the eighth-ranked men’s tennis player in the world, was voted to the honour by members of the Swiss public.
The decision was announced at a ceremony in Zurich on Saturday televised by the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation.
Wawrinka, 28, succeeds another sportsman, cross-country ski champion Dario Cologna, who was named Swiss of the year in 2012 (and Swiss sportsman of the year for 2013).
For the Lausanne native, 2013 marked the best year of his career after he began working with new coach Magnus Norman.
He reached his first Grand Slam semifinal at the US Open, losing to top seed Novak Djokovic in five sets, and qualified for the ATP World Tour Finals in London for the first time.
Wawrinka's succesful year came as compatriot Roger Federer struggled in his worst season in a decade, although he retains a higher world rating (sixth).
Wawrinka got off to a strong start this season, winning the Chennai Open in India earlier this month for the second time.
And on Sunday he advanced into the second round of the Australian Open after opponent Andrey Golubey, from Kazakhstan, was forced to retire with a calf injury in the second set of a first round match, with the Swiss leading 6-4, 4-1 at the time.
While Wawrinka was named overall Swiss person of the year, businessman and politician Thomas Minder was voted tops in the political category.
Minder, a senator from Schaffhausen, spearheaded an initiative against “fat cat” salaries, accepted by Swiss voters last year, that requires shareholders of Swiss companies to approve compensation for top executives.
Among other winners with the public was Beni Stöckli, head of the Stöckli ski and sports firm in the business category and musician Stephan Eicher in the show business category.