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Swiss talk and read away their free time

The Swiss - a nation of readers Keystone

Switzerland’s most popular pastimes are meeting friends and reading, according to a study by the Federal Statistics Office.

This content was published on June 27, 2005 - 15:43

The survey found that social background, salary and education are determining factors in what leisure activity is chosen.

Just over 75 per cent of respondents said they read every day, while 20.8 per cent said going for a stroll was their favourite daily pastime.

The survey, which was published on Monday, is based on 5,220 interviews in Swiss households conducted in 2003.

Among the other 12 leisure activities mentioned in the interviews were handicrafts, gardening, going to the cinema or theatre and visiting art exhibitions.

Bottom of the list and considered the least popular were taking further education courses and playing a musical instrument.

Social background

There are no major differences between the leisure activities of men and women.

But, experts said the social background, the level of education and salary play an important part in determining regular activities.

Those with higher incomes and better education are more likely to take part in cultural events, read books, magazines and newspapers as well as choose sporting activity or take courses.

The survey found that the majority of those questioned were happy with the amount of time available for leisure activities.

However, many foreigners, couples with children and people between 25 and 39 criticised the lack of sufficient leisure time.

A similar survey published by the Univox polling institute in January found that the favourite pastime of the Swiss in 2004 was watching television, listening to the radio and reading the newspapers.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

The ten most popular pastimes:

76.1% meeting friends
75.1% reading
72.6% going for a stroll
67.6% going to the cinema
66.6% going to the theatre, opera or visiting exhibitions
61.9% sporting activities
53.9% handicrafts or gardening
49.2% going to the pub, bar or restaurant
46.7% going to sports events
34.9% dancing

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