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New website reveals Swiss inequalities

Caroline Bishop · 25 Jun 2014, 11:54

Published: 25 Jun 2014 11:54 GMT+02:00

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The interactive website, oecdregionalwellbeing.org, is an initiative from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) which compares well-being in 362 regions within 34 countries based on eight topics central to quality of life.

The OECD uses several indicators to rank regions and identify trends and disparities between regions within the eight topics, which are Health, Safety, Jobs, Income, Education, Environment, Access to Services and Civic Engagement.

Based on data gathered last year, Switzerland was ranked number one out of 34 countries in Safety and Jobs, second in Health and third in Income.

Within Switzerland, four regions (Zurich, Eastern Switzerland, Central Switzerland and Ticino) received a perfect score in the topic of Safety, with Ticino also awarded full marks in Health.

But it’s not all good news. In the topic of Civic Engagement – measured by voter turnout – the country ranked a lowly 32 out of 34 countries, and came just 23rd in Environment.

Regionally, Zurich achieved the lowest score in Environment, which is measured by the average level of air pollution.

Even within topics that Switzerland achieved top scores, the website pointed to significant inequalities across the country.

Despite ranking third in Income, Switzerland was judged the 29th most unequal society of those measured in that topic.

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Ticino was judged to have the lowest disposable household income of seven regions in Switzerland, while Zurich had the highest.

Despite topping the table overall in Jobs, the website also highlighted significant regional disparities in that topic.

The organization hopes that the data will provide a better understanding of regional well-being and its determinants with a view to influencing public policy. 

Caroline Bishop (news@thelocal.ch)

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