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Poverty affects nearly one in five Swiss households

Single parents in Switzerland are often affected by relative poverty. The photo shows people queuing to receive bags with free food in Geneva in 2020. Keystone/Martial Trezzini

Single parents with small children, as well as elderly migrants in Switzerland are at risk of relative poverty according to a new study.

This content was published on February 22, 2022 - 18:39

Nearly one in five households has to make do with very little money, the Federal Social Insurance OfficeExternal link announced on Tuesday.

The survey found that 15% of households of the working population and 22% of households of retired residents are affected by poverty.

The report by the University of Geneva is based on tax data of about 4.5 million residents between 2011 and 2015. This was more than half the Swiss population.

The findings are representative for the whole of Switzerland, according to officials.

The difficult financial situation persisted in up to 50% of all cases for a very long time, according to experts. But one in two households regain a certain financial stability after a while.

Overall, income rose between 2003 and 2015 notably due to higher salaries, low inflation and better pension payments, the study found.

But single retired men did not benefit from the improvement, according to experts.

On average, a Swiss household had an annual income of CHF63,470 ($69,148) in 2015. The poverty line was set at around CHF38,000 annually.

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

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