Why the Swiss live longer

The average Swiss boasts one of the world’s highest life expectancies. Wealth, well-being and eating cheese are three of the secrets. (SRF/

This content was published on January 1, 2016 - 11:00

Since the beginning of the 20th century life expectancy from birth in Switzerland has almost doubled. In this period, it rose from 49 to 85 for women and from 46 to 81 for men.

According the World Health Statistics 2015 report, Switzerland is just behind Japan with an average life expectancy of 83 years. That’s 12 years above the global average.

So why do the Swiss live such long lives? Different studies point to some of the reasons, which are quite surprising: wealth, a sense of well-being and diet – a love of dairy products including cheese.

Life expectancy at birth is the statistical estimate of the average number of years that a new born is expected to live if the current mortality rates continue to apply in the future.

As the Swiss live longer, the average age of women in the country giving birth to their first child is also rising. Fewer women under 30 years of age have children and more women above 35 are giving birth.

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Share this story

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?