Study: more young people in Switzerland are right-wing

Study: more young people in Switzerland are right-wing
A growing number of young people in Switzerland identify with the political right, according to a national survey.

Commissioned by the Federal Defence Department (VBS), the Young Adult Survey Switzerland (YASS), published this week, showed that 36 percent of young people in the country identified with the political right, up from 28 percent five years previously.

The figures, which refer to the period 2006 to 2011, showed that the number of young people in the political centre had also grown, from 31 percent to 36 percent, while those on the left had decreased from 41 percent to 28 percent during the five-year period.

Conducted every four years, the YASS aims to evaluate how young people’s values and views change over the years.

It questioned both young men entering their compulsory military service and around 3,000 19-year-old women in Switzerland about their views on work and training, health and sport, politics and public life, values, skills and outlook on life.

“Young adults are pioneers of a lifestyle that reacts constantly to the latest cultural, economic and social changes,” YASS’s authors said in a statement.

The study aimed to “provide information on young people passing from adolescence to adulthood”.

The initial published results debunk the theory, often touted in the media, that second generation immigrants are more right-wing than those born to Swiss parents, said the report authors.

Fewer than one in five second generation immigrants held conservative views, compared with a nearly quarter of youths born to Swiss parents.

The study also analyzed the prevalence of xenophobia and homophobia amongst young people.

More than half of Swiss without an immigrant background were hostile towards foreigners, found the survey, compared with only 14 percent of second generation immigrants.

However the latter were more likely to hold homophobic views, it said.

Young people’s views were also dependent on their educational background and their parents’ political leanings.

Overall 90 percent of those surveyed said they were happy with their lives in Switzerland, found the study.