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Study: average Swiss household has 7,000 francs monthly disposable income

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Study: average Swiss household has 7,000 francs monthly disposable income
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10:01 CET+01:00
The average household in Switzerland has nearly 7,000 francs a month in disposable income, according to a new report by the Swiss statistics office, though 61 percent of homes have less than that.
The figures, reported on Tuesday, come out of a study on household budgets in 2015. 
 
In that year the disposable income of an average household in Switzerland – judged as 2.17 people – was 6,957 francs a month, against an average gross income of 9,946 francs. 
 
Disposable income is calculated by deducting compulsory expenses including taxes, social insurance, health insurance and pensions from gross revenue, which includes salaries and bonuses, plus income from property, savings and investments.
 
In 2015 compulsory expenses rose to 2,990 francs or 30 percent of gross income, with taxes comprising the largest part of that, at 12 percent.
 
Basic health insurance premiums comprised just 5.9 percent of gross revenue, a figure that may surprise many who pay far more than that – according to recent reports some pay up to 20 percent of their income on health insurance premiums.
 
The majority of a household’s disposable income goes towards paying for goods and services including rent and bills. Food, transport costs and leisure activities are also significant costs, with a household spending an average of 557 francs a month on leisure and cultural activities. Domestic pets cost a household an average of 29 francs a month.
 
After all of that, the average Swiss household has 1,388 francs a month left to save, equating to 14 percent of gross income.
 
 
However the statistics office stressed that not every household reflects these figures. Some 61 percent of Swiss households have less disposable income than the average, and those with a gross income of under 5,000 francs cannot save at all.
 
Despite the fact that the average disposable income in Switzerland is higher than the OECD average – according to its Better Life Index – not everyone finds it easy to live in a country with a notoriously high cost of living.
 
The statistics office also said recently that 21 percent of Swiss households didn’t have the financial means to deal with an unexpected expense and seven percent were affected by ‘persistent poverty’.
 
However it also said that the country’s median disposable income, adjusted for the difference in consumer prices, was 1.8 times the Spanish median and 1.3 times that of France and Germany. 
 
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