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Safety in Switzerland: Which areas do Zurich residents avoid at night?

Zurich is known as one of the world’s safest cities - but a new poll shows residents still avoid some areas at night.

Police after an incident in the centre of Zurich.
Photo: MICHAEL BUHOLZER / AFP

Zurich is known as one of the safest cities in Europe – and perhaps even the world. 

However, Zurich residents say there are still some areas they try to avoid at night. 

How safe is Zurich? 

The Economist’s Safe Cities Index ranked Zurich in the top 20 safest cities in the world over the past three years

Zurich featured alongside Stockholm, Amsterdam and Copenhagen over the past three years, with Asian and Australian cities also ranking highly. 

In terms of the ranking’s individual categories, Zurich did particularly well in health security. The category covers indicators including access to healthcare and social care, and the provision of a healthy urban environment including traffic management and green space. 

The Swiss city also ranked strongly for infrastructure security, a category generally driven by affluence, according to the report authors.

What about those shadowy places?

While International agencies might rank Zurich highly for safety, Zurich residents’ also feel their home city is relatively safe. 

A study commissioned by Zurich city police found that 98 percent of residents feel very safe or fairly safe in the city during the day. 

It is at night however where things take a (slight) turn. 

Almost one in five (19 percent) said they feel slightly or very unsafe at night in Zurich. 

Almost half (47 percent) said they avoid certain places at night due to safety reasons. This was slightly lower than in 2016, when 51 percent said they avoid certain places at night. 

So where do they avoid then? 

According to the study, the people of Zurich feel particularly uncomfortable in the Langstrasse district, the city’s party strip and red light district. 

The respondents also said District 4 (Aussersihl) and District 5 (Industriequartier) made them feel uneasy. 

In addition, those surveyed said they try to avoid parks and train stations at night, along with “dark places”. 

The central areas of Zurich. Photo: Wikicommons

What are they worried about? 

According to the survey, there’s a relatively wide set of concerns. 

Those surveyed said problems caused by drunks, drug dealers, young people and foreigners concerned them the most, while 10 percent also said they were worried about Zurich traffic. 

The study also found that Zurich residents have a high level of trust in the police, while 91 percent feel that the police’s efforts in protecting the public are either sufficient or somewhat sufficient. 

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ZURICH

REVEALED: What are Zurich’s most popular baby names?

Zurich’s most popular baby names from 2021 have been revealed. A strong trend towards short names has emerged - and there’s barely an Urs or Ursula in sight.

REVEALED: What are Zurich’s most popular baby names?

On Thursday, Zurich council published its list of most popular baby names in 2021. 

During 2021, 5,251 babies were born across the canton, which is Switzerland’s most populous. 

On top of the list for boys was Noah, with 27 of the boys born last year receiving the biblical name. 

The leader for the girls was a little more controversial, with two different names laying claim to the crown. 

While 28 of the girls born in Zurich last year were called Olivia, there were 44 girls born in total with a variation of Sophia/Sofia. 

REVEALED: The most popular baby name in each Swiss canton

Short names dominated both lists, with Emma, Anna, Ella and Mia ranking high for girls, alongside Leo, Louis and Theo for boys. 

Another trend is that diversity is on the slide in Zurich, with fewer names given than in previous years. 

Swiss tabloid Blick reports that while 15 years ago there were 62 different names for every 100 people, there were less than 50 (48 for girls and 47 for boys) in 2021. 

Middle names are also on the rise in Switzerland, with 57 percent having one in 2021 compared to 48 percent in the 1990s. 

How does this compare to Switzerland? 

Although the 2021 figures haven’t been released for Switzerland, those from 2020 showed Noah was popular across the country as the favourite boys name. 

Olivia however was not even in the top five for girls names in Switzerland, where Mia, Emma and Mila were the most popular. 

Much like pretty much everything in Switzerland, there are significant differences between linguistic regions. 

In total, there were 461 Mias born in Switzerland last year, followed by 407 Emmas and 350 Milas.

Switzerland saw 507 Noahs born last year, followed by 372 Liams and 359 Matteos.

Mia and Noah are the most popular names in German-speaking Switzerland as well as in the country as a whole, which is of course helped by the fact that around 60 percent of Switzerland speaks German.

French-speaking Switzerland, also known as Romandie, saw Gabriel and Emma top the charts in 2020.

Sofia claimed top prize in the Italian-speaking part of the country, while Leonardo was far and away the biggest winner among the boys.

The situation is slightly different among Switzerland’s foreigners, with many opting to stick with names popular in their home countries, rather than those in Switzerland. 

READ MORE: What are the most popular baby names among foreigners in Switzerland?

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