The Population of Switzerland

Population size
As of 2015, the population of Switzerland was 8.29 million people which equates to 0.11 percent of the world population. In terms of population size, Switzerland ranks at place 94 globally. You can click on the link in the table to explore how the size of the population has changed over time.

According to data from the United Nations Population Division, 73.84 percent of the people in Switzerland live in urban areas. Globally, the share of the urban population has been increasing in recent decades, reaching about 55 percent, at the expense of the rural population. In Switzerland, the share of the population living in rural areas is 26.16 percent, which places the country at rank 138 in the world.
Indicator
Value
Global rank
Year
Population size, in millions 8.29 94 2015
Share of world population 0.11 95 2014
Percent urban population 73.84 60 2014
Percent rural population 26.16 138 2014


Age composition
In general, the age composition of the population in Switzerland can be described by the age dependency ratio. This indicator measures the ratio of dependent people (people younger than 15 or older than 64) to the working-age population. A higher ratio may lead to increased pressure on the working-age population to maintain the health, social security and education costs for the economically dependent. In terms of age dependency ratio, Switzerland ranks at place 130 globally with a value of 48.85 percent in 2015.

The World Bank provides data on the shares of different age groups in the total population. Globally, the share of children (ages 0-14) has been decreasing since the 1960s to about 25 percent. In Switzerland, children make up 14.78 percent of the population, which ranks the country at place 170 in the world. In terms of the percent of the population ages 64 and above, Switzerland is at place 21 in the world. In 2015, 18.04 percent of the people in Switzerland were at age 64 or above. We should note that the world population has been ageing: the percent of people ages 64 and over has increased from 4 percent in 1960 to over 8 percent in recent years.
Indicator
Value
Global rank
Year
Age dependency ratio 48.85 130 2015
Population ages 0-14, percent of total 14.78 170 2015
Population ages 65 and above, percent of total 18.04 21 2015


Gender
According to data by the United Nations Population Division, women make up 50.48 percent of the population in Switzerland. In terms of the female population share, Switzerland ranks at place 80 globally. Back in 1960, there were equal numbers of men and women in the world but since then the share of women in the world population has been decreasing slowly but steadily.

In order to measure the gender equality in Switzerland, we can look at the percentage of women in the labor force. This indicator represents the share of women in the economically active population. In 2014, 46.15 percent of the total labor force in Switzerland were women, which places the country at rank 61 globally. We can measure the gender equality in the decision-making process in government by studying the indicator Percent of women in parliament, provided by the Inter-Parliamentary Union. In terms of this indicator, Switzerland is at rank 34 in the world. In 2015, 32.00 percent of the parliamentary seats in Switzerland were held by women.
Indicator
Value
Global rank
Year
Female population, percent of total 50.48 80 2015
Labor force, percent female 46.15 61 2014
Women in parliament, percent 32.00 34 2015


Health
The World Bank provides data on the health status of the population in Switzerland and many other countries around the world. A base indicator used for determining the physical quality of life in a given country is the life expectancy. Here we use data on the so-called life expectancy at birth which measures the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life. Globally, there is a clearly expressed upward trend in life expectancy over the years. In 2014, the life expectancy in Switzerland was 82.85 years, rank 4 in the world. Ususally, the life expectancy in wealthier and more developed countries is higher than in poorer and less developed countries.

The death and birth rates are widely used indicators of the health status of the population. The crude mortality rate measures the number of deaths over the year divided by the population exposed to risk of death in the same year. In Switzerland, the number of deaths per 1000 people during 2014 was 7.80. In terms of this indicator, Switzerland ranks at place 86 globally. The 2014 birth rate in Switzerland, i.e. the number of live births per 1,000 people, was 10.20. That value ranks the country at place 167 in the world. Globally, the birth rate has declined from over 35 percent in the 1960's to below 20 percent.
Indicator
Value
Global rank
Year
Life expectancy, in years 82.85 4 2014
Death rate, per 1000 people 7.80 86 2014
Birth rate, per 1000 people 10.20 167 2014


Education
The school enrollment ratios are standard measures of educational attainment in Switzerland and elsewhere. They are based on annual school surveys. The primary school enrollment ratio is the number of students who are enrolled in primary education as percent of all eligible children. In terms of that indicator, Switzerland ranks at place 67 in the world, with 103.23 percent primary school enrollment in 2014. In many countries around the world, the school enrollment exceeds 100 percent due to a high level of grade repetition or because many children enter school earlier or later than the official primary education age.

In 2014, the secondary school enrollment in Switzerland was 99.77 percent. An enrollment ratio near or above 100% indicates a high capacity of the secondary education but it may also reflect a large number of over-aged and under-aged students enrolled at this level of education. In terms of secondary school enrollment, Switzerland ranks at place 35 globally. In terms of tertiary school enrollment, Switzerland is at place 31 in the world. The total enrollment in tertiary education was 57.23 percent in 2014. Note that very high values may indicate a large number of university students who stay in school for many years. Data on the tertiary education in Switzerland are collected by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics.

Indicator
Value
Global rank
Year
Primary school enrollment, percent of all eligible children 103.23 67 2014
Secondary school enrollment , percent of all eligible children 99.77 35 2014
Tertiary school enrollment, percent of all eligible children 57.23 31 2014
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