Newly Swissed Online Magazine

Switzerland under a snow globe (13 interesting statistics)

Switzerland - Introducing 100 Residents

On December 31, 2012, Switzerland had a population of exactly 8'039'060 residents.

This is a pretty inconvenient number to run some quick math on... For instance, can you tell me the percentage of the 627'000 Aargau residents in terms of the overall population? Probably not. But what is we shrank Switzerland to a mere 100 residents, fit them in a snow globe and ran some statistics on them now? This approach is similar to what the project "100 People: A World Portrait" has done to the world population.

So, are you ready to learn more about Switzerland with this cool thought experiment?

Women rule (in terms of sheer numbers)

(Source: Bundesamt für Statistik/BfS)


The youth and the elderly population are still quite balanced, but the trend is slowly shifting in favor of the elderly:

(Source: Bundesamt für Statistik/BfS)


Some 23 of our hypothetical residents carry a foreign passport.

(Source: Bundesamt für Statistik/BfS)


Italians and Germans are among the largest international group in Switzerland, with 4 residents each. When it comes to the Americas, just 1.

(Source: Bundesamt für Statistik/BfS)


There is a trend towards fewer churchgoers and those who claim no confession at all: 21 atheists or those of no confession live alongside 38 Roman Catholics, 27 Protestants and 5 Muslims.

(Source: Bundesamt für Statistik/BfS)


To begin with, Switzerland has four official languages. And through the 1990's, the linguistic diversity has steadily increased to a point where is has largely stagnated since.

(Source: Bundesamt für Statistik/BfS)

The most common languages in 2000:

Swiss Linguistic Diversity


No less than 18 residents live in the canton of Zürich, while 12 live in Bern. When added on to the 9 from Vaud, 8 from Aargau and 6 from St. Gallen, more than half of Switzerland's population lives in just 5 cantons (out of 26!)

(Source: Bundesamt für Statistik/BfS)


Switzerland's beautiful countryside is shared by a lucky 27 people, while the remaining 73 are crammed into urban areas and cities!

(Source: Bundesamt für Statistik/BfS)


A majority of 57 people are writing monthly rent checks, while 37 live in their own house or apartment.

(Source: Hauseigentümerverband/HEV)


Unemployment is very very low, with only 2 of 100 people out of work. If compared to just the segment of the population that is able to work, this statistic increases to 3 people.

(Sources: SECO/BfS)


Despite all that wealth, only 3 residents claim pre-tax incomes of more than a million francs!

(Source: Eidg. Steuerverwaltung/ESTV)


Switzerland's established apprentice system produces more professional tradespeople than brainy academics. A staggering 29 residents in this town of 100 has learned a professional trade, compared to only 12 residents who have a university degree.

(Source: Bundesamt für Statistik/BfS)


And finally, when it comes to reading Newly Swissed on the Internets, the Swiss are browsing at hyper speeds: 87 residents have a high-speed broadband connection - that's one of the highest broadband penetration rates in Europe! Some 70 have access to a mobile data connection on their smartphones, and still 31 more own a tablet PC.

(Sources: BfS/Media Use Index MUI/Wikipedia)

(This article was originally published in German on We have translated it into English with the express permission of the author; feature picture copyright by Julian)

Dimitri Burkhard

As the founder, editor, and community manager of Newly Swissed, Dimitri owns the strategic vision. He is passionate about storytelling and is a member of Swiss Travel Communicators. Dimitri loves discovering new trends and covers architecture, design, start-ups and tourism.


  • Awesome Dimitri. I really like this! Plus, the two people who live in Graubuenden won 3 Olympic medals today. I love statistics… ;-)

  • Shouldn’t the wealth one have been something like:
    “Because of all that wealth, 28 have an income higher than 50,000 Francs!! And everyone else lives well above the poverty level and nobody is starving and crime is really low!”

    • I would argue it could mean both atheist or “of no confession”. Point taken though, and I have amended the statement!

  • Sorry to bother you with this. I just read this article on my phone and all of the sample groups seem to have 77 or 91 people in them. Some rows or columns must be cut off. I wonder what it looks like on a computer screen.
    Aside of that thanks for the info!

    • No problem! You are right in that the embedded infographics are all but mobile friendly… Check it out on an (old fashioned) desktop when you get a chance ;-) ^Dimitri

Dimitri Burkhard

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