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Report: A fifth of Swiss residents struggle financially

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09:42 CET+01:00
Switzerland may offer among the highest quality of life in the world, but a fifth of people here would struggle to pay for an unexpected expense, with foreigners particularly affected, according to new figures.
In 2016, more than 21 percent of Swiss residents lived in a household that didn’t have the financial means to stump up 2,500 francs for an unexpected expense within the space of a month, the Swiss federal statistics office (BFS) said in its report on income and living conditions, published on Thursday.
Foreigners, in particular non-EU citizens, the unemployed, single-parent families and people with a low level of education were particularly affected.
One in ten Swiss can’t afford a week’s annual holiday, however that’s lower than in most of the European Union, said the BFM, citing France’s figure as 23.4 percent and Germany as 18.4 percent.
In Switzerland seven percent of residents are affected by “persistent poverty”, also lower than its European neighbours including France (eight percent), Austria (8.1 percent) and Germany (10.5 percent).
Switzerland’s quality of life is one of the highest in the world, confirmed the report, saying Swiss people’s median disposable income, adjusted for the difference in consumer prices, is 1.8 times more than the Spanish and 1.3 times that of people in France and Germany.
The figures back up the recent Global Wealth Report 2017 by Credit Suisse, which named Switzerland as the richest country in the world for the eighth year in a row but highlighted the fact that the country had made no progress in closing the gap between rich and poor.
Switzerland has achieved no reduction in wealth inequality since the year 2000, the only country among those with developed economies not to do so, found Credit Suisse.
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