• Switzerland's news in English

Europe in stats: from Spain to Sweden

The Local · 15 Jan 2015, 17:46

Published: 15 Jan 2015 17:46 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Some of the stats are predictable: it is perhaps unsurprising that Swedes and Swiss earn more than Italians and Spaniards, while the number of people claiming unemployment benefits has fallen over time in Sweden and Germany, while rising in France, Spain and Italy.

The Nordic countries also do well when it comes to income inequality, with Sweden and Denmark among the most equal places in Europe. But while inequality is slowly rising in the north, Italy is slowly becoming more equal - and is already more equal than Spain and the UK. You might be surprised to learn that well-functioning, prosperous Switzerland is one of the most unequal countries in the rich-country OECD.

More surprising, perhaps is that even those countries with economic problems have seen crime fall. Indeed, crime is falling everywhere - in Austria, crime is at its lowest level since 1947. In Spain, murders were down from 364 in 2012 to 302 in 2013.

There are also some surprising differences in countries that should be quite similar. Denmark has one of the world’s highest cancer rates; next-door Sweden one of the lowest. Danes’ fondness for booze and cigarettes gets the blame.

When it comes to sex and marriage, the Catholic countries of the south are less traditionalist than you might expect. Only 3.3 Italians per 1,000 got married in 2013 - a record low. The figure was the same in crisis-hit Spain. Compare that to 4.8 in Germany, 5.1 in Denmark or 5.3 in Sweden.

And women in the north are far more likely to work - 70 percent of Danish women and 77 percent of their Swedish counterparts are in the workforce. Compare this to 54 percent of Germans and 39 percent of Italians.

Italy is also doing badly at having babies. It’s worth noting that no country in Europe reaches the 2.1 births per woman needed to keep the population steady (once immigration is taken out of the equation). The French (2.01) beat the European average of 1.58, as do the Swedes (1.91) and the Danes (1.71). Spaniards, however, had only 1.32 babies per woman; Italians 1.43. But it’s not all about money - the prosperous Swiss only manage 1.54 babies per women.

Different ways of collecting and measuring data means that not all the figures in the articles are directly comparable, but it still makes for interesting reading.

Find out more here - eight countries in ten stats:










For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.ch)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Designed to house 20,000 people, the bunker was built in and over two motorway tunnels. Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben

The Local takes a tour of the Sonnenberg bunker in Lucerne, opened 40 years ago at the height of the Cold War.

Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
File photo: Renato Bagattini/Swiss Tourism

Skiers in Switzerland pay the highest prices for their ski passes of anywhere in Europe, according to research.

Eco group fights Bern over wind farm plans
There are currently more than 30 wind farms in Switzerland. Photo: Alpiq

Wind turbines are “gigantic and destructive” machines, says Paysage Libre Suisse.

Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Antoni Da Campo will now carry out his military service. Photo: Antoni Da Campo

A Swiss man who was told he would not be accepted for military service because of his strict veganism has finally succeeded in making the army change its mind.

Geneva terror suspects to receive compensation
File photo: Emran Kassim

The Swiss public prosecutor has dropped the case against them.

Ticino firefighters rescue cow from swimming pool
File photo: The Local

The cow was at risk of drowning after falling into the private pool.

Uefa Champions League
Basel 'ready for battle' in Champions League clash
Basel training in Paris. Photo: Franck Fife/AFP

Swiss champions Basel fancy their chances of springing a surprise when they face Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.

Burst pipe causes major flood in Lausanne
The water flooded Place de la Riponne in Lausanne. File photo: Swiss Tourism/Christof Schuerpf

Water rushed down the streets after a pipe burst in the city centre.

Outcry after ‘neo-Nazi’ music festival held on Swiss soil
The village of Unterwasser was the tranquil location for the festival. Photo: Swiss Tourism

Should police have intervened?

Seven things you’ll miss about Switzerland if you leave
Switzerland: what's not to miss? Photo: Christian Perret/Swiss Tourim

Former expats in Switzerland tell The Local what they miss about living here.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
Photo: file
Some deodorants could cause breast cancer: Swiss study
Photo: Royal Savoy
In pictures: Inside the latest Swiss luxury hotel
Photo: AFP
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
Photo: File
Bern argues over passports for 3rd generation foreigners
Photo: Broad Bean Media
Muslim pupils must shake hands – ‘no ifs and buts’
jobs available