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Data collection programme of the federal census


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1. Introduction
The constantly growing demand for ever more diverse information is a defining feature of our globalised knowledge society. This is particularly true for statistical information. For example, the population statistics are used to manage large cash flows in the new fiscal equalisation programme or for federal subsidies for health insurance premium reductions for people with low incomes. Another example is the national accounts, which provide information on Switzerland's economic development.

The efficiency of modern statistical information systems is largely determined by the way data is collected. In this context, for legal and financial reasons, the systematic use of existing data takes precedence over direct surveys that impose a burden on respondents.

On 22 June 2007, the Swiss Parliament passed a completely revised Federal Act on the Federal Census (hereunder Census Act), which entered into force on 1 January 2008. With the new Census Act, the Federal Council and the Parliament decided to modernise official statistics. The new census introduces a comprehensive change of system: the complete census every ten years is being replaced by an integrated statistical system. The system combines the use of existing registers of persons with sample surveys that are conducted and evaluated on an annual basis.

In accordance with Art. 3 of the new Census Act, this document describes the information mandate of the census system, which comprises all surveys to be conducted within the framework of the Confederation's standard programme, the base universes, the survey variables, and harmonised key variables.

2. The basic principles of the new population census

2.1 Key elements of the population census
Article 1 of the Census Act describes the domains for which data are to be collected. Four types of surveys are used to obtain the information needed: the register survey, the structural survey, the thematic survey, and the Omnibus survey (Figure 1).

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The register survey is based on communal and cantonal population registers, the principal federal registers of persons as well as the Federal Register of Buildings and Dwellings. Therefore, the survey provides basic information about the population and about buildings and dwellings at the smallest spatial resolution. (cf. Chapters 3.1 and 3.2). The Federal Act on the Harmonisation of Official Registers of Persons (RHG/LHR), which entered into force on 1 January 2008, fulfilled one of the central requirements for the easy and efficient use of the register data. The act specifies the identifiers and the variables which the registers must contain, determines the content and form of the registers, and controls the exchange of data between them.

The structural survey is designed as an annual sample survey of 200,000 people. As it is a population survey, it includes important variables that are not currently available in the registers. The survey covers


people living in private households who are aged 15 or over. The respondents provide information about themselves and their households. An annual sample survey of 200,000 people allows statistical analyses to be carried out for all the cantons and for groups of 15,000 people. After five years it will be possible to make assertions about groups of 3,000 people using data pooling. Within these groups, units of 140 people can be identified after one year and units of 28 people after five years. The cantons can supplement the survey within their own area at their own expense to improve the results further (cf. Chapter 5.1).

Thematic sample surveys are also carried out annually using a sample size of 10,000 to 40,000 people. The following topics alternate on a five-yearly cycle: "Mobility and transport", "Education and training", "Health", "Families and generations" and "Language, religion and culture". The existing health survey and the transport micro-census are incorporated into this system. Because of the size of the samples, the thematic surveys allow conclusive results to be produced for the whole of Switzerland as well as for the seven major regions. The "Mobility and transport" micro-census will also provide results for the agglomeration (a large urban) areas. The cantons can also supplement these surveys at their own expense (cf. Chapter 5.2).

In order to be able to respond to current political as well as scientific issues, in addition to the surveys mentioned above, a survey with multiple and variable topics (Omnibus Survey) is also programmed. The Omnibus survey is a flexible tool that provides rapid answers to current questions. The Omnibus survey is coordinated with a similar survey that is currently being prepared at the EU level. This sample survey conducted when needed among 3,000 respondents produces results for the whole of Switzer- land which can be rapidly processed and published.

2.2 The census as part of an integrated system
The new focus of the census has transformed it into the backbone of a new integrated system for household and person statistics. In the future, it will be part of a system that combines the systematic use of existing administrative registers and sample surveys of people and households. The content, method, and organisation of the various surveys are linked and coordinated with one another. In the long term, in particular, the integrated system provides added value which makes it much more than the sum of its parts.

The different parts that make up the census supplement existing surveys in order to create a comprehensive picture of socio-economic statistics (Figure 2). Three annual surveys are already being carried out on the topics of "Work" and "Income, Consumption and Living conditions".

- The Swiss Labour Force Survey (SLFS) provides data about the labour market and about working life in general. In order to coordinate with European statistics, the results will be produced on a quarterly basis in the future.
- The Household Budget Survey (HBS) provides regular information about the consumption habits and income of private households in Switzerland.
- The new survey on income and living conditions introduced in 2007 (SILC: Statistics on Income and Living Conditions) covers a wide area including income, education, work, childcare, the composition of households, the housing situation, and health.

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2.3 The integration components of the census system
The new census can only exploit its full potential if it takes the form of a well-functioning integrated system. It is more than the sum of the various individual statistics. In order to create an integrated system, integration components are needed which will bring together surveys based on different data sources. The four integration components are as follows:

2.3.1 The base universes (population, households, housing) shared by all the surveys;
2.3.2 The new social security (AHV/AVS) number;
2.3.3 The building and dwelling identifiers (EGID/EWID);
2.3.4 The key variables.

2.3.1 Common base universes
The different surveys can only be consolidated on a common foundation consisting of the same base universes which are uniformly defined and harmonised. They determine the framework of the Person, Household, and Building and Dwelling Statistics using the statistical units that are being monitored.

The following three base universes form the common foundation of all the statistics systems:

- The permanent resident population. Based on the reporting status in a commune, this base universe comprises all Swiss nationals who have registered their main place of residence in Switzerland as well as all foreign nationals who are not in the process of seeking asylum who have held a residence or permanent residence permit for a minimum of 12 months or who have held a short-term residence permit for a total of at least 12 months. Persons in the process of seeking asylum who have resided in Switzerland for a total of at least 12 months are also included in this base universe;

- All private households, in other words, all persons living in the same dwelling. Institutional households, which are defined in the Register Harmonisation Ordinance, are excluded;
- The third base universe comprises inhabited residential buildings and their dwellings.

2.3.2 The new social security (AHV/AVS) number
As part of the process of harmonising the official population registers, the new social security (AHV/AVS) number will be included in the registers listed in the Register Harmonisation Act. The number can be used as a personal identification number (PIN) for statistical purposes. The introduction of a PIN in the registers specifically referred to in the act is a central element of the process of linking data for statistical purposes. Data with the new social security (AHV/AVS) number are regarded as non-anonymised data. For this reason, measures will be needed to guarantee the protection and confidentiality of the data. This will be assured by the use of one or more statistical identification numbers (pseudonymised numbers) specific to each area as well as other technical protection measures.

2.3.3 Dwelling and building identifiers
In the process of register harmonisation, each person in the population register is assigned the federal building identifier (EGID) and the federal dwelling identifier (EWID) of the dwelling in which they live, from the Federal Register of Buildings and Dwellings. This allows the determination of households on the basis of the register. The federal dwelling identifier is a three-digit identifier of the dwellings in the Federal Buildings and Dwellings Register. It is unique within each building and is always assigned in combination with the nine-digit federal building identifier.

2.3.4 The key variables
The definition of key variables is a further precondition for a harmonised structuring of the statistical information. The key variables should, in the future, be used uniformly in all the surveys. They allow population groups to be defined and identified in a standardised way. The key variables also generate a lowest common denominator which guarantees the comparability of the results of the different statistics and the statistical monitoring of specific


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3. Data collection programme and information offer
At the heart of the new statistical information system is the resident population of Switzerland, in other words, the people and their households. For every person, a link is formed with the dwellings and residential buildings. The new census system combines four different surveys and their resulting data.


This integrated system will make four types of statistics available with different thematic and spatial depths of focus.

- Basic annual statistics on the population, households, and housing on the basis of the nationwide register surveys;
- Annual structural statistics based on the structural survey and the register surveys. These also in- include the "traditional" topics of the census. They provide additional information to the basic statistics and form the basis for the analysis of the topics at the cantonal level;
- Every year, in-depth statistics on one of the topics of "mobility and transport", "education and training", "health", "families and generations" and "language, religion and culture" (alternating in a five-year rhythm).
- Detailed annual statistics on current questions on the basis of the omnibus survey and the register surveys.

The system integrates all the information about persons, households, and housing from the basic statistics, structural statistics, and detailed thematic statistics. These cross-sectional perspectives and the integration of the results from the various surveys allow the observed topic areas to be covered comprehensively. The principles of the integration are illustrated in a simplified form as follows (Figure 3):

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When the bilateral agreement on statistics with the EU came into force on 1 January 2007, one important institutional and legal condition changed. Switzerland is now ensuring on a systematic basis that Swiss statistics are comparable with those of the EU and EFTA countries. For this purpose, Switzer- land has adopted the corresponding legal instruments of the EU. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Statistical Office of the European Communities (EURO- STAT) issued joint recommendations for population and housing censuses in 2010. These describe the variables to be included in the survey, the recommended additional variables, and the classifications and definitions which ensure that the data can be subjected to international comparisons. Switzerland follows the UNECE/EUROSTAT recommendations concerning the key area of the census results. It also takes account of the requirements concerning the next census round set out in the EU regulation. The regulation is being prepared.

3.1 Basic statistics of persons and households

3.1.1 Uses and expectations
The basic statistics on persons and households form the core of the new statistics system. The main source of these statistics is the register survey. Demographic analyses of the entire population


are carried out annually. These cover the entire resident population living in private and institutional households and allow annual, small-scale evaluations at the communal and infra-communal levels. Alongside cross-sectional statistics of this kind, the sources of basic demographic statistics can also be analysed from a chronological perspective.

By furnishing information about the population, its size, composition, dynamics, and spatial distribution, these statistics provide a basis for decision-making and planning at the federal, cantonal, and communal levels. At these three levels of Switzerland's political system, demographic data can be used to develop and evaluate political strategies and to plan in various areas, ranging from transport to health, education, energy, the environment, regional planning, and social security.

The public sector and public sector enterprises are among the main users of population statistics. For example, the National Council seats are allocated to the cantons based on this data. The population statistics are among other things used to determine the financial equalisation which entered into force in 2008 in order to reduce disparities between the cantons as well as excessive spending due to geo-topographic or socio-demographic factors.

At the Federal Department of Home Affairs, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) bases the allocation of health insurance subsidies on population data, and the Federal Social Insurance Office (FSIO) uses population scenarios in order to model the future financing of old-age and survivors? insurance (AHV/AVS). The Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy, and Communications (DETEC) relies on population figures to distribute the proceeds of the heavy vehicle fee to the cantons. These are just some examples of how population statistics are used at the federal level.

The cantons and communes are also important users of these data. For example, some cantons have inter-communal equalisation systems that require accurate information on the population. The social partners are also among the users of population statistics. These enable them, for example, to observe the effects of the introduction of the free movement of persons with the EU.

The private sector and businesses use the basic statistics on the population among other things to produce market studies, plan their staffing needs, and select locations for new premises. Pension funds and life insurance companies need demographic data for risk assessment and to prepare their premium tables based on age and gender data.

In research and science, demographic data are used to analyse various social phenomena related to birth rate, mortality, and migration. The results of these analyses make a concrete contribution to addressing policy questions in the areas of health, family policy, integration policy, and regional policy.

Lastly, population statistics also play a key role in the official statistics system. They are used to define the base universes (persons and households) to be analysed in sample surveys and pro- vide the data necessary for the weighting and extrapolation of their results. To correct for non-responses and biases and to extrapolate the results to the total population, the data have to be subjected to statistical processing, which requires a good knowledge of the base universes and their structures. In numerous statistics, population data are used as a reference to calculate rates or ratios (e.g. the unemployment rate, per capita income, etc.). They are also used as a basis for producing forward-looking models, particularly in the areas of transport, energy, and social security.

3.1.2 Topics
The basic statistics of people and households provide information and key figures on the size and structure of the population as well as on its development due to natural population changes (births


and deaths) and migrations. The population development is analysed retrospectively and prospectively (projections/scenarios).

These statistics must provide:

- Comprehensive data on the size and structure (age, sex, marital status, nationality, etc.) of the resident population in Switzerland.
- Information about the base universes of persons and households as well as on various sub-groups of the population which is comparable over space and time.
- Information on the changes (births, deaths, migrations) and development of the resident population as well as demographic balances.
- Information about the spatial distribution of the population in Switzerland. This information is available at the cantonal and communal levels, but also for small units below the commune level.

These are the main topics covered:

- Size and structure of the population (by age, sex, nationality, marital status, etc.)
- Population development
- Distribution of the population
- Scenarios of future population trends in Switzerland and the cantons
- International and internal migration
- Births, deaths, and natural increase
- Marriages and divorces, registered and dissolved civil partnerships
- Adoptions and acknowledgments of paternity
- Number, size, and composition of households

3.1.3 Basic output
The basic statistics of the population provide annual information.

T2 Information provided by the basic statistics of the population

Size and structure of the population

- Permanent and non-permanent resident population by age, sex, marital status, nationality, place of birth, type of residence permit (foreign nationals), reason for immigration, and length of stay in Switzerland

Population balances

- Annual balances of the permanent and non-permanent resident population by age, sex, and nationality, including live births, deaths, excess of births over deaths, immigration, and emigration, net migration, and acquisition of Swiss citizenship or other citizenship
- Annual balances of the permanent and non-permanent resident population by age, sex, marital status, and nationality (Swiss/foreign) with changes in marital status, deaths, immigration and emigration, net migration, and acquisition of Swiss citizenship

Change of status        

- Change of status within the permanent foreign resident population by age, sex, marital status, and nationality
- Change of status from non-permanent to permanent foreign resident population (and vice versa) by age, sex, marital status, and nationality


Acquisition of Swiss citizenship        

- Acquisition of Swiss citizenship by a method of acquisition, age, sex, and previous citizenship
- Acquisition of Swiss citizenship by previous citizenship, sex, marital status, and citizenship of spouse
- Acquisition of Swiss citizenship by previous citizenship, place of birth, and length of stay in Switzerland


- Internal migration:
- Inter-communal (broken down into intra-cantonal and inter-cantonal) migration of the permanent (and possibly non-permanent) resident population by age, sex, marital status, nationality, and type of residence permit (foreign nationals)
- Inter-communal (divided into intra-and inter-cantonal) net migration by age, sex, marital status, and nationality
International migration:
- Immigration and emigration of the permanent and non-permanent resident population by age, sex, marital status, nationality, place of birth, type of residence permit (foreign nationals), country of origin, and country of destination
- International net migration of the permanent and non-permanent resident population by age, sex, marital status, nationality, place of birth, and type of residence permit (foreign nationals)
- Emigration of the permanent and non-permanent foreign resident population by age, sex, marital status, nationality, type of residence permit (foreign nationals), place of birth, and length of stay in Switzerland
- Immigration of the permanent and non-permanent foreign resident population by age, sex, marital status, nationality, type of residence permit (foreign nationals), place of birth, and length of stay in Switzerland

Private households     

- Private households by household size (number of persons) and household composition by age, sex, marital status, nationality, place of birth, religion, type of residence permit (foreign nationals), and length of stay in Switzerland of household members
- Private households by household size and household type according to the characteristics of the persons in the household

Institutional households         

- Institutional households by household size (number of persons) and household composition


- People who get married by age, sex, marital status, nationality before marriage, and religion
- People who get married by age of spouses, sex, marital status, nationality before marriage, and religion
- Marriages by month

Registered partnerships          

- People who conclude a registered partnership by age, sex, marital status, nationality before marriage, and religion
- People who conclude a registered partnership by age of partners, marital status, nationality before the partnership, and religion
- Registered partnerships by month



- Divorces, separations, marriage annulments
- Divorces by grounds for judgment
- Divorced persons by age, sex, and nationality before and after the marriage
- Divorced persons by age, sex, and nationality before and after the marriage
- Divorces by the duration of the marriage
- Divorces by month
- Divorces by an award of custody of minor children
- Divorces by number and age of minor children

Dissolutions of registered partnerships          

- Dissolved partnerships by grounds for dissolution
- Ex-partners by age, sex, and nationality before and after the partnership
- Ex-partners by partners' age, sex, and nationality before and after the partnership
- Dissolved partnerships by the duration of the partnership
- Dissolved partnerships by month


- Widowed persons by age, sex, and nationality
- Widowed and deceased persons by age of former spouse, sex, and nationality
- Death of spouse by the duration of the marriage
- Death of spouse by sex of surviving spouse and number and age of minor children

Recognitions of paternity      

- Recognitions of paternity by age of child and type of recognition
- Recognitions of paternity by month


- Adopted persons by adopting persons (stepfather, step-mother, married couple, single person) and age, sex, and nationality of adopting persons
- Adopted person by age at the time of adoption, sex, and nationality before the adoption
- Adoptions by month

Live births      

- Live births by sex and nationality of the child
- Live births by age, marital status, and nationality of the mother
- Live births by age and nationality of the father
- Deliveries (multiple births)
- Live births by month
- Live births by age and nationality of married women, duration of marriage, and birth order


- Stillbirths by sex of the child
- Stillbirths by age, marital status, and nationality of the mother
- Stillbirths by month


- Deaths by age, sex, marital status, and nationality
- Deaths in the first year and month of life by sex and nationality
- Deaths by month


Population scenarios  

For each projected year and each scenario (by age, sex, and nationality):

- Permanent resident population as of 31 December
- Number of births by age of mother
- Number of deaths
- Number of immigration
- Number of emigrations
- Number of acquisitions of Swiss citizenship

Demographic indicators         

- Indicators of the population structure (age, sex, marital status)
- Indicators of fertility: Total fertility rate, fertility rate by age, completed fertility rate of the birth cohorts, the average age of mother at birth of a child
- Indicators of mortality: Infant mortality rate, probability of dying, annual mortality tables, cohort mortality tables, life expectancy at every age
- Indicators of marriage: Marriage rate, the average age at marriage
- Indicators of divorce: Divorce rate, the average duration of marriage at divorce
- Indicators of migration: Gross immigration rate, gross emigration rate, net migration rate, gross domestic migration rate

3.2 Basic statistics on buildings and dwellings

3.2.1 Uses and expectations
The basic statistics on housing provide information about the building and housing stock and its structure, as well as on living conditions. They cover all the residential buildings and their dwellings in Switzerland. These statistics are used to monitor the housing market on a regular basis and to take measures for its optimal development. The statistics can be used to establish scenarios or projections for the housing sector (e.g. estimates of the development of housing requirements over the next 10 years and housing construction scenarios as a basis for local land-use planning). Combined with basic information on the status of the population and households, the data from the Federal Register of Buildings and Dwellings provide annual geocoded information about the living conditions of the various population groups which can be compared over time. Thus, annual small-scale evaluations at the communal or infra-communal level can be carried out.

At the federal level, the basic statistics on housing are used by the Federal Housing Office (FHO), the Federal Office for Spatial Development (ARE), and the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE). The Federal Housing Office requires statistical data to conduct housing research and to develop bases for decision-making, concepts, and instruments to monitor the effectiveness of measures aimed at stimulating development in the housing sector.

The Swiss Federal Office of Energy relies on key energy figures (energy consumption, energy reference area) of buildings in order to take measures to reduce energy consumption and to monitor the effects of energy policy. The results are also in demand by universities, private research institutes, and planning offices. Planning offices primarily use these data to make housing market development trends which are needed by communes for local land-use planning. Calculations of future housing and living space requirements are used to assess the authorisation of new building zones.


Monitoring construction activities outside building zones is a specific use of these data which is currently under development. Pursuant to Art. 45, Paragraph 1 of the Swiss Federal Spatial Planning Ordinance, the Federal Office for Spatial Development is required to monitor the effects of statutory provisions on construction outside building zones. Another monitoring project is related to the abolition of the Lex Koller (purchase by foreign nationals of residential property in Switzerland). The aim is to limit the construction of second homes through spatial planning measures in areas with a high proportion of second homes.

3.2.2 Topics
The basic statistics on buildings and dwellings provide information on the state and structure of buildings and dwellings as well as on living conditions. These statistics are used to monitor the housing market on a regular basis and to take measures for its optimal development. Dwelling supply indicators (e.g. housing density, occupancy density, floor space per occupant) provide important information about the housing conditions of various population groups which can be compared over time.

These are the main topics covered:

- Building and housing stock
- Age of buildings and dwellings and the date of the most recent renovation
- Housing supply
- Development of the housing market
- Analysis of house-moving behaviour
- Environmental and energy aspects of housing
- Housing scenarios and projections
- Living conditions of various population groups

3.2.3 Basic output
The data from the Federal Register of Buildings and Dwellings will be evaluated on an annual basis. For some indicators, the Federal Register of Buildings and Dwellings will be combined with the population registers of the communes. It will be possible to evaluate data from the statistics on buildings and dwellings for different population groups. Evaluations will be possible at all geographic levels. Some housing supply evaluations and the analysis of the use of dwellings will only be possible once the introduction of the Federal Dwelling identifier in the population registers is completed.

T3 Information provided by basic statistics on buildings and dwellings

Building stock/building category      

- Number of residential buildings
- Single-family house (detached house)
- Two-family house
- Multiple-family house
- Mixed-use building

Building size  

- Number of floors of the building
- Number of dwellings in the building

Age of building          

- Year of construction
- Year of renovation of the building


Infrastructure and technical equipment of the building         

- Type of heating
- Power source for heating
- Warm water supply
- Power source for warm water

Housing stock/ housing supply          

- Number of dwellings 
- Number of rooms 
- Dwelling floor space
- Occupation density (occ/room)
- Number of persons in the dwelling
- Floor space per occupant

Use of dwellings analysis       

- Use of dwellings over time

3.3 Structural statistics

3.3.1 Uses and expectations
Structural statistics provide information that goes beyond the restricted scope of basic statistics. They provide general overviews of the most important structures of the population. They are the starting point for an initial assessment of key policy issues which have to be deepened and refined with information from other statistics. The annual availability of the information also makes it possible to monitor important current economic and social changes in Switzerland's population structure. In addition, the list of variables takes account of UNECE and EUROSTAT recommendations.

Structural statistics provide the first answers to general policy and sectoral policy questions. National policy questions centre on gender equality and minority policy issues. The sectoral policy covers a wide spectrum of areas, including economic policy, environmental, spatial development and transport policy, social security, family, health, and education policy. In addition, because of their geographic depth of focus, structural statistics also provide important information for the language and religious policy of the Confederation and the cantons.

Because these statistics aim to provide basic structural information and overviews, they have a wide range of uses and target audiences. Like basic statistics, structural statistics are used by the public administration, political and business decision-makers, schools, and the broader interested public.

3.3.2 Basic output
The structural statistics provide additional information on the basic statistics, together with base information for the analysis of the thematic statistics of the census system. They cover the resident population, excluding people who live in institutional households. The information on dwellings relates to occupied dwellings. The structural statistics provide annual results on the following topic areas:

T4 Information provided by the structural statistics

"People, households and housing"

Focus topic "Migration"
Population with a migration background


- Nationality at birth
- Country of birth of mother
- Country of birth of the father
- Second and third generation
- Mode and year of acquisition of Swiss citizenship
- Second citizenship

Focus topic "housing"
Housing rent conditions


- Monthly rent
- Number of rooms
Owners and tenants


- Type of occupancy
- Rate of dwellings occupied by their proper owner
Housing situation


- Occupation density (occ/room)
- Number of persons in the dwelling

Topic area "work"
Occupation/participation in the labour market          
- Employment status
- Current occupation
- Status in occupation
- Socio-professional category
- Economic branch, legal status, and size of the enterprise
- Number of hours worked per week, work-time percentage


- Labour market status
- Unemployment rate

Topic area "Mobility"
Commuters, origin-destination matrix


- Place of work
- Location of school
- Commune of departure to commute to work
- Commune of departure to go to school
- Number of weekly trips to commute to work
- Number of weekly trips to go to school
Means of transport


- Means of transport to commute to work
- Means of transport to go to school
Traffic volume


- Time needed to commute to work
- Time needed to go to school
- Distance to place of work
- Distance to school

Topic area "education"
Highest educational attainment


- Completed education and highest educational attainment 
- Development of the qualification structure of the population 
- Migration and qualification structure
Current education


- Current education
- Current education and occupation
- Branch of economic activity and legal status of the school
Education and labour market 
- Career paths after graduation
- Atypical educational path
Learned occupation (original training) and current occupation


- Learned occupation
- Social mobility

Topic area "language, religion and culture"


- Main language
- Language(s) spoken at work / at school
- Language(s) spoken at home
- Usual language


- Affiliation with a church or religious community

Topic area "family"
Household structures, family types, and living arrangements 
- Position in household 
- Type of household 
- Household size
Reconciliation of work and family life


- Family models: Division of household work among couples

3.4 In-depth statistics on the topic areas

3.4.1 Mobility and transport Uses and expectations
Mobility and transport are of central importance for Switzerland as a small, export and service-
oriented country. Switzerland's good transport infrastructure is an important factor in the economic competitiveness of Switzerland's regions and the country as a whole.

The Federal Council's report "Challenges 2007 - 2011: Trends and possible future issues in federal policy" states that Switzerland's transport policy is based on the principle of sustainable development. The main objective is to meet the growing demand for mobility in an efficient, safe, and preferably environmentally friendly manner. The goal is to develop a healthy, safe, energy-efficient, and space-optimising transport system. Transport policy must guarantee access to the transport system for various population groups and regions. In its report, the Federal Council states that, along with public transport and private motorised transport, non-motorised transport should be encouraged as a third pillar of passenger transport.

Until now, transport policy and planning strategies have been for the most part focused on commuter traffic and long-distance traffic. A further key challenge in the coming years will be to take account of the evolution of leisure traffic, which already accounts for almost half of the passenger transport.

The role of these statistics is to provide information on the overall mobility of passenger transport by road, rail, water, and air. A key objective is to understand travel behaviour and the factors that influence it.

The Confederation, cantons, and communes share responsibility for the technical and spatial management of the country's transport infrastructure, the combination of different modes of transport and the protection of people and the environment from the harmful effects of traffic. Consequently, the range of users of transport statistics is broad and diverse. It includes, first of all, various federal offices (e.g. the Federal Office of Transport, the Federal Roads Office, the Federal Office for Spatial Development, the Federal Office of Civil Aviation, the Federal Office for the Environment, and the Swiss Federal Office of Energy), as well as transport companies and public transport operators. These statistics are also used by actors in the areas of transport policy, spatial planning, energy policy, and environmental policy at all levels in Switzerland. Other stakeholders include various organisations, lobby groups, tourist associations, tourism, and recreation centres, and finally traffic participants.


Other noteworthy users are members of the scientific and research community (e.g. road network, departmental and transport research conducted by the Federal Institutes of Technology in Zurich and in Lausanne and by cantonal universities, corporate research, and research conducted by consulting companies and engineering firms). This research focuses, for example, on elaborating multimodal transport models to simulate traffic flows on road and rail.

There are also specific demands for regionalised information. The data have to be available at the level of the 7 major regions (urban and rural areas) as well as that of the country's 30 largest ag- glomerations (to meet the needs of the Confederation's agglomeration policy).

The statistics on mobility and transport provide information on the overall mobility of passenger transport by road, rail, water, and air. A key objective is to understand travel behaviour and the factors that influence it. The key figures relating to the following transport and spatial policy topics are of central interest:

- Transport behaviour
- Changes in behaviour: Time series and cohort effects
- The future of transport in Switzerland: Transport forecasts, outlooks, and scenarios
- Spatial and transport planning at the national and regional levels: Bases for sectoral and master plans
- Transport concepts: Indicators for benchmarking agglomerations and rural areas
- Monitoring / Controlling: Indicators to assess the sustainability of spatial planning and energy, environmental and transport policies
- Infrastructure planning: Infrastructure funds, agglomeration programmes, the future development of rail infrastructure (ZEB), and the functionality of the national road network
- Transport modeling: Input for national and regional multimodal passenger transport models
- Modal split: Modal split between motorised private transport/public transport/ non-motorised transport by trip purpose (commuting, shopping, business, leisure)

Basic output
The basic output is broken down by population groups and geographic levels. The main divisions at the geographic level are the major regions, the urban and rural areas, the agglomerations, and the urban centres. In addition, the principal indicators are differentiated by trip purpose (commuting, shopping, commercial, leisure, and tourism traffic) and by modes of transport and days of the week.

T5 Information provided by the area "mobility and transport"

Ownership and use of vehicles and public transport season tickets  

- Vehicle ownership and utilisation
- Kilometre performance of passenger cars and motorcycles
- Driving licence ownership and availability of parking spaces
- Ownership of public transport season tickets
- Use of vehicles and public transport

Means of transport     

- Modal split
- Car use and occupancy rate
- Public transport
- Pedestrian and bicycle traffic


Traffic volume           

- Traffic volume indicators (distance, time)
- Mobile and non-mobile persons
- Traffic volume over the course of one day
- Trips and stages
- Length and duration of stages and trips

Transport purposes     

- Trips for work, school, or training
- Shopping trips
- Trips to provide a service for people or to accompany people
- Leisure activities and trips
- Professional activities and business trips

Day trips and trips with overnight stays        

- Day trips and trips with overnight stays: Frequency, duration, and distance
- Day trips and trips with overnight stays: Destinations, purposes, and choice of means of transport

Annual mobility         

- Distances (at home and abroad, daily and non-daily mobility)
- Shares of means of transport and purposes
- Annual mobility of main population groups


- Charges and use of revenues
- Road traffic
- Public transport

3.4.2 Education and training

Uses and expectations
Education, professional qualifications, and lifelong learning are of great economic and socio-political significance. Education and training promote competitiveness and innovation and reduce the risk of unemployment and poverty. According to the report by the Forward Planning Staff of the Federal Administration, Switzerland will have to meet the following challenges in the coming years:

- Consolidation of the reform processes started in higher education,
- Increase of the number of tertiary-level graduates and tackle capacity problems
- Implementation of the Bologna and Copenhagen process (European higher education and vocational training landscape),
- International recognition of degrees from Swiss universities of applied sciences,
- Post-compulsory education for as many young people as possible (ideally all),
- Greater involvement by the Confederation in job-related continuing education and training and
- Improvement of equal opportunities for young people with a migration background in the education system

On 21 May 2006, the people and the cantons approved constitutional provisions on education.1 These require the Confederation and the cantons to ensure an accessible Swiss Education Area. The constitutional article reinforces the reform process begun in the 1990s in the Education, Research and Innovation (ERI) sector and is at the same time a starting point for a coherent and


goal-oriented education policy. The creation of the universities of applied sciences in 1996, the University Promotion Act in 2000, and the Framework Act for Higher Education (in preparation) lead to closer cooperation between the Confederation and the cantons in managing the school system and force them to better allocate scarce resources. The Federal Act on Vocational and Professional Education and Training of 2002 is the driving force behind the modernisation of vocational education.

The Confederation, cantons, and communes share responsibility for education policy. But the co-ordination and harmonisation of efforts between the three levels depend on exchanges of information, controls, and, above all, reliable monitoring to provide the knowledge necessary to manage the system. The list of users of education and training statistics is therefore varied. It includes the cantonal ministries of education and the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK) as well as other associations of educational institutions such as the Swiss University Conference or the Swiss Conference of Vocational Education and Training Offices. Federal offices involved in the field of education also use these education and training statistics. These are first of all the State Secretariat for Education and Research (SER) and the Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology (OPET), but the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the Federal Office for Migration (FOM) and Federal Office for Gender Equality (FOGE) are also primary beneficiaries.

Other users of the data include institutions of higher education (universities, universities of applied sciences, and universities of teacher education) and other scientific institutions.

The field of "education and training" provides a wide range of information on the education and training of the population in Switzerland. These data make an important contribution to education policy, the evaluation of education reforms, and the development of measures in the education sector (forecasts). Reliable reporting requires information on the following topics in particular:

- (Lifelong) learning and training activities
- Development, adaptation, and renewal of human capital: Level of education and training and qualifications
- Accessibility of the education and science system: Educational paths
- Equal opportunities in the education and science system
- Determinants of education and their effects
- Further education and training in Switzerland

Basic output
The basic output is broken down by age, sex, migration background, education level of parents, household composition, family income, unpaid work, and labour market status.

T6 Information provided by the area "education and training"

Highest educational attainment         

- The highest level of formal education completed
- Forecasts of the highest educational attainment
- Number of years of education


Educational paths      

- Number of completed education/training programmes by the level of education
- Learned profession(s) or selected study programme(s) 
- Interrupted or discontinued formal education or training - Changes in the educational path
- Second vocational training, retraining
- Attendance of specialised vocational training programme or vocational training programmes in a different field

Ongoing education and training activities   

- Participation in education and training
- Personal expenditure on educational activities
- Types of learning

Education and labour market 

- Unemployment, youth unemployment


- Skills of the population
- Use of skills
- Quality of education and training and development of skills
- Socio-economic effects of skills


- Level of satisfaction with own education and training
- Intention to participate in (other) non-formal education and training, reasons for not participating in such programmes
- Attitudes to further education and training

3.4.3 Health

Uses and expectations
The health of Switzerland's population depends on many factors that exert an effect at different levels. Social and economic living conditions, the political context, as well as the natural environment, and environmental damage create the framework conditions for the health of the population. The Confederation and the cantons control the provision of and access to health care resources through legislation, such as the Health Insurance Act, as well as by investing in infrastructure, education, and research.

At the individual level, factors such as age, sex, origin, and genetic predisposition, as well as the socio-economic situation, influence lifestyles and behaviour which, in turn, have an impact on health and the development of diseases and health problems.

The report "Challenges 2007 - 2011" issued by the Forward Planning Staff of the Federal Administration sets out the following priority goals and challenges for health policy and health care: First of all, a paradigmatic shift from a health care system far too focused on curative medicine to the prevention of disease and the promotion of good health. A large number of diseases and health problems can in principle be prevented. Promoting health literacy in the population and taking ac- count of health aspects in all policy areas, including the labour market, social, environmental, and social policy, are closely related to this. Lastly, measures to promote and sustain health can also contribute to curbing ever-increasing health costs. The successful implementation of these goals requires concerted action by all stakeholders.

The range of users of personal data on health and health behaviour is broad and diverse. At the federal level, the principal user is the Federal Office of Public Health. The wider group of users at the federal level also includes the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the Federal Office for Sport (FOSPO), the Federal Social Insurance Office (FSIO), the Swiss Council for Accident Prevention (bfu) and the FSO itself, which uses these statistics to produce in-depth analyses


and indicators on the economy, state, and society. The Swiss Health Observatory (Obsan) and the cantonal health directorates to which it is affiliated are also important users, as are the social partners and health insurers. Universities and research institutions use official statistics data for basic and applied research, part of which is conducted on behalf of the Confederation and the cantons. At the international level, the statistical data are mainly used by EUROSTAT, the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Personal statistics in the field of health provide information and indicators on the health status, health behaviour, and health care of the population. These are the main topics covered:

- Health, diseases, disabilities
- Prevention of health problems
- Living conditions and health: Human and social capital, social status, socio-economic situation, and attitudes towards the social and physical environment, social background, and financial situation
- Behaviour and lifestyle: health-promoting and health-damaging behaviours
- Supply and use of health services: out-patient and in-patient supply and use of basic and complementary services as well as nursing and care services
- Informal assistance: Key data on unpaid assistance from family and acquaintances
- Insurance situation

Basic output
The basic output is broken down and analysed by sex, age, educational level, migration background, household composition, and income.

T7 Information provided by the area "health"

Health status  

- Self-perception of health status
- Long-term mental or physical problem
- Diseases
- Disabilities
- Body size and weight
- Sleep disorders
- Disability-free life expectancy


- Prevention and early screening
- Vaccinations

Behaviour and lifestyle          

- Consumption of tobacco, alcohol, medication, and drugs
- Risk behaviour
- Accidents
- Frequency of physical activity
- Dietary behaviour

Living conditions       

- Emissions at home
- Workplaces exposures
- Social network

Informal help 

- Trusted person
- Regular unpaid help (active and passive)
- Social support


Insurance situation     

- Type of insurance (compulsory and supplementary)
- Annual deductible

Use of health services 

- Medical consultations 
- Out-patient treatments 
- Hospitalisations
- Use of home care services
- Use of complementary and paramedical services
- Surgeries
- Use of dental services


- Importance of health
- Importance of free choice of doctor
- Satisfaction in general

3.4.4 Families and generations

Uses and expectations
The institution of the family is undergoing a profound transformation that is shaping society today and will continue to do so in the future because the family is a pillar of our society. As the first locus of socialisation, it transmits numerous values and influences many behaviours. It influences the life of all individuals. It is, therefore, hardly surprising that the family attracts special attention at the political level from policy-makers who aim to recognise and support its contributions to the economy and society.

The economic situation of families is an important concern of family policy. Families have less disposable income than households without children. They have an above-average risk of poverty. This is particularly the case among one-parent families and large families. Various policy measures aimed at ensuring families' economic security are being investigated or have already been adopted (harmonisation of family allowances, compensation for loss of earnings during maternity, etc.).

The debate over the reconciliation of work and family life has grown in recent years. This is primarily due to the transformation of lifestyles and family types and changes in the working world. In view of the forecasted slow-down of population growth and aging of the population over the next few decades, it is imperative that the highest possible participation in the labour market by all working-age people be promoted.

One family in three in Switzerland has a migration background. However, immigrant families represent only one-quarter of these families; the remainder were either formed in Switzerland or are binational families with a Swiss-born parent. No two families with a migration background look back on the same lives and experiences. But families with a migration background have an above-average risk of poverty and are disproportionately affected by precarious living and working conditions.

By providing care for children and older people, families make an important contribution to society and the economy. Current and future demographic trends represent a challenge in this respect. The rapidly growing number of childless people, the reduction in family size, and the growing geographic distance between family members due to migration movements will soon make such intergenerational support difficult or even impossible.


Statistical information on the family and generations is very important to the public authorities charged with formulating family policy: The Confederation (Federal Social Insurance Office, State Secretariat for Economic Affairs), the cantons, and the communes. Based on these data, they can identify problems and take legal measures to solve them. The effectiveness of the measures taken can also be assessed by means of such statistics.

Information on families and households is also in demand by the private sector. For example, some large companies in the consumer goods manufacturing sector gear their activities towards the development of families and households. Banks and insurance companies use this information to offer products that meet the needs of their customers. The development of household and family size is also of vital importance to the real estate sector.

The academic and research community is another group that uses these statistics. Researchers use the information on families and generations to investigate social phenomena such as the transformation of family lifestyles, relations between generations, and the evolution of gender equality. The results of their analyses constitute important information for decision-makers in the public and private sectors.

Official statistics provide reference data on the situation and recent development of families and relations between generations and within families. These are the main topics covered:

- Family structures, types of family living arrangements, and new ways of life
- Economic and social situation of the population
- Childhood and living with parents
- Influence of family history on life course
- Stages of life and family transitions: Formation and dissolution of partnerships
- Reconciliation of paid work, household work, and family work
- Extrafamilial childcare
- Family solidarity: financial, material, and emotional support
- Analysis of demographic behaviour based on life courses

Basic output
The basic output should be broken down by population groups, family types, age, sex, nationality, migration background, educational level, and labour market status.

T8 Information provided by the area "Families and generations"

Biography of parents 

- Date of birth of parents
- Marriage of parents 
- Separation of parents 
- Death of a parent
- Remarriage of a parent/both parents
- Number of children of parents
- Family type at birth
- Move(s) from the parental home

Formation and dissolution of partnerships    

- Number of partnerships
- Type of partnerships
- Intentional change in a family situation



- Number and date of birth of (biological and adopted) children
- Number of children living in or outside the current household
- Number and date of birth of grandchildren

Desire to have children          

- Desired number of children
- Reasons not to have children or not to have another child
- Conditions that could bring about a change of mind

Working and family life        

- Division of paid, household, and family work in partnership
- Extra familial childcare by type and duration of care

Family network          

- Type and frequency of contact with parents and grandparents
- Type and frequency of contact with children living outside the house
- Type and frequency of contact with a wider family circle (siblings, uncles/aunts, cousins/cousins)

Intergenerational transfers and family support          

- Tangible and intangible support of (elderly) parents
- Assistance with childcare and education by the grandparents or other members of the extended family
- Tangible and intangible support between the generations


- Attitudes towards family and children
- Attitudes towards family and professional life
- Attitudes towards family policy

3.4.5 Language, religion and culture 

Uses and expectations
Linguistic, religious, and cultural diversity are among the hallmarks of the Swiss Confederation, and the harmonious coexistence of its majorities and minorities is exemplary. This is based on complex political and institutional structures at the federal and cantonal levels, which protect religious freedoms and freedom of speech as well as cultural and religious diversity. Article 2, Paragraph 2 of the revised Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation, which came into force on 1 January 2000, stipulates: "It [the Swiss Confederation] shall promote the common welfare, sustainable development, internal cohesion and cultural diversity of the country."

Quadrilingualism is an essential feature of this cultural diversity. Since the Federal Constitution of 1848, German, Italian, and French have been recognised as national languages. Romansh was added to the new Federal Constitution (Art. 4: "The National Languages are German, French, Italian, and Romansh."). The balance between the language regions must be guaranteed and the Confederation must support measures by the Cantons of Graubünden and Ticino to preserve and promote the Romansh and Italian languages (FC Art. 70, Para. 5).

Since the Reformation, religious pluralism (bi-confessionalism) has been based on the territoriality principle; the key provisions governing the status of religious groups in the various cantons and Switzerland as a whole date to the 19th century. The regulation of the relationship between the church and the state is the responsibility of the cantons (FC Art. 72, Para. 1). In most cantons, the Evangelical Reformed Church, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Christian Catholic Church of Switzerland (Old Catholic Church) have a status as a public body or are recognised as national churches. Fourteen cantons include a reference to God in their constitution. Five cantons (BS, FR, SG, BE, ZH) also recognised the Jewish communities as public bodies and thus put them on


the same footing as the national churches. In the secular canton of Geneva, however, church and state are completely separated.

A rich cultural life and varied and high-quality cultural offerings not only contribute to the well-being of the population but also have a positive influence on companies' choice of location. The availability and exercise of cultural activities also strengthen a country's social cohesion. The "Challenges 2007 - 2011" report thus recalls the key role played by publicly supported radio and television programmes in "the preservation of a common identity and mutual understanding".

It is in this context that the Confederation issued the draft Culture Promotion Act (Federal Council Resolution of 8 June 2007), thereby undertaking to promote cultural activities of national interest. The Confederation should establish clear guidelines and instruments to manage its cultural policy and implement measures to promote culture. Article 8 of this law gives priority to projects that enable or make it easier for the public to gain access to culture and that make a special contribution to the preservation or development of cultural or linguistic diversity. The proposed measures include the preservation of cultural heritage, support for cultural organisations and cultural exchange, as well as the fight against illiteracy and the promotion of reading. Statistics on culture are to be compiled on a regular basis in order to optimise the political management of these processes (Art. 27).

Statistics must create the preconditions necessary to monitor the development of Switzerland's society and its structure (linguistic, religious, and cultural) and to provide instruments to assess the success of various government measures, particularly in the areas of cultural policy, the promotion of integration - especially its socio-cultural dimension - and the promotion of cultural diversity.

Among the main users of statistics on language, religion, and culture are political circles (members of parliament, political parties), public authorities, and administrative bodies, particularly the Federal Office of Culture (FOC), the Federal Office for Migration (FOM), the Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology (OPET), the Directorate of International Law of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) and various commissions, such as the Federal Commission on Foreigners and the Federal Commission against Racism.

The promotion of culture, however, is primarily the responsibility of the cantons and cities (e.g. through their cultural commissioners). Language policy is also a concern of the cantons, particularly Graubünden and Ticino, which are responsible for promoting the Italian and Romansh languages. The same applies to measures in favour of integration and the measurement of their impact, which is of interest to the Tripartite Agglomeration Conference and other organisations. Besides representatives of the churches, religious associations, and communities, as well as the cultural sector, the business community and the general public are also interested in the various components of multicultural Switzerland and its development.

Academic and research circles, particularly the members of the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences, also use these statistics. They rely on the information on language, religion, and culture to investigate phenomena such as the development of society, relations between the various components of the country, the situation of minorities, and changes in lifestyles and values.

At the international level, the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs uses these statistics to meet Switzerland's reporting obligations at the European level, e.g. pursuant to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. The data are also useful for reports submitted to UN committees that monitor the implementation of conventions (e.g. the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women


(CEDAW), and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination).

Statistics on language, religion, and culture provide information on cultural diversity, the situation of minorities, the balance and relations between majorities and minorities and between communities, social and cultural participation, values and attitudes, as well as the country's general development in the social and cultural spheres.

These are the main topics covered:

- The situation and development of multilingualism (learned and spoken languages, etc.)
- Language learning and further education and training
- Analysis of languages spoken in the family, work, school, and social environment
- Foreign population: Language skills and language practice, motivations, efforts made to learn Switzerland's national languages, and obstacles encountered
- Situation and development of religions in Switzerland (religious beliefs, affiliation, and practices)
- Analysis of cultural behaviour: Theatre and film attendance, reading (print media) and library visits, use of audiovisual media (radio, TV, internet), own cultural activities, cultural preferences, satisfaction with cultural services, factors that promote or impede the exercise of cultural activities
- Values and attitudes towards the diversity of languages and religions
- Influence of origin and migration path on cultural and religious practices and language skills
- Social integration (social and political participation, social relations, cohesion).

Basic output
The basic output relates to individuals. It is broken down and analysed by age, sex, nationality, and educational level.

T9 Information provided by the area "Language, religion and culture"

Languages and language skills           

- Learned and spoken languages
- Language(s) spoken during childhood and youth (at home, at school)
- Knowledge and use of dialects
- Level of knowledge and diplomas/degrees
- Language(s) currently being studied
- Language(s) in which the person reads (newspapers, books, etc.)

Religious affiliation   

- Affiliation with a church or religious community
- Attendance at a place of worship and observance of religious holidays
- Religion the person was brought up in
- Religious affiliation and practice of spouse/partner

Cultural behaviour     

- Film and theatre attendance, visits to museums, exhibitions, galleries, historical sites, etc.
- Television, radio, and internet use - Reading (newspapers, books) 
- Own cultural activities
- Motivations for and barriers to cultural participation


Political and social participation        

- Participation and membership in a group/organisation/party/club
- Contacts with people from other cultures/other nationalities

Experiences of discrimination

- Experience of discrimination due to membership in a particular group

Cultural identity        

- Group affiliation (regional and other affiliations)


- Importance attached to learning the national languages 
- Attachment to the values of the respondent's own religion 
- Satisfaction with cultural activities
- Attitude towards language, religious and cultural policy
- Perception of other groups

4. Geographic depth of focus of the standard programme

4.1 Geographic depth of focus of the register survey
The receiving of harmonised data from the population registers of communes and cantons, the main federal population registers, and the Federal Register of Buildings and Dwellings will make it possible to produce purely register-based annual population statistics in the future. Because the data will be linked with those of the Federal Register of Buildings and Dwellings, the statistical results will be geocoded and thus available at the smallest aggregation levels.

4.2 Level of the geographic depth of focus of the structural survey
The structural survey is a sample survey of persons. This means that the information obtained can be extrapolated to produce statistical results for the entire population. The results of these projections are estimates which are subject to certain random sampling errors.

The standard programme consists of a survey of 200,000 people aged 15 years or over who are living in private households. As a result, around 2.7% of the entire resident population is surveyed every year. This corresponds to approximately 3.5% of the people aged 15 years or over. The precision and accuracy of the assertions made on the basis of a sample of this kind can be described in terms of two factors: The depth of focus indicates the smallest geographical unit for which reliable estimates can be made. In contrast, the resolution represents the smallest possible group that can be precisely estimated independently of the size of the geographical unit.

The standard programme allows statistical assertions relating to individual attributes to be made with a sufficient level of accuracy for groups of 15,000 people. These groups can correspond to regional or socioeconomic boundaries, for example, women with a university degree aged between 30 and 40 or single mothers. Using this depth of focus, representative results can be achieved for all the variables in the structural statistics for all the cantons, larger communes, and larger districts of large cities.

Estimates for small groups define the mesh size of the monitoring net. In the standard programme the size of a group for which estimates can be made is 140 people, regardless of the attribute being investigated. These people become trapped in the monitoring net, so to speak. Where attributes apply only to a smaller group of people, for example, if only 100 people in a commune have a tertiary education, they cannot be identified with certainty in the analysis grid.


Pooling or combining the data from structural surveys over several years allows a correspondingly larger sample to be formed. As a result, the precision and significance of the results also in- crease. However, this information does not refer to a clearly defined survey date but represents an average over the period being investigated. Data will be pooled over three and five years, resulting in sample sizes of 600,000 and 1,000,000 people. The depth of focus and the resolution change accordingly. (Figure 4).

[A figure is omitted here]

4.3 Geographic depth of focus of thematic surveys
Because of the size of the samples (10,000 - 40,000 people), the thematic surveys allow conclusive results to be produced for the whole of Switzerland and the seven major regions. The micro-census on mobility and transport will also provide results for the 30 largest agglomerations.

4.4 Geographic depth of focus of the Omnibus survey
In the Omnibus survey, issues of current political relevance and the timely processing of data and publication of results take priority. Due to the small sample size (3000 people), the Omnibus survey provides results for the whole of Switzerland.

5. Possibilities to supplement the structural survey and the thematic surveys

5.1 Models to supplement the structural survey
With the standard programme, the Confederation makes available free of charge to the cantons an extensive range of information covering the whole of Switzerland. Should the data provided annually and pooled by the structural survey prove to be insufficient for certain regional policy or planning purposes, the cantons can supplement the sample. But the possibilities to supplement the sample are subject to certain organisational and methodological restrictions:

- The annual sample size at the Swiss national level may not exceed 800,000 people. This represents approximately 11% of the total resident population of each region. If the size of the sample were increased even further, the number of households in which several per- sons are surveyed during the same year would exceed an acceptable threshold.
- The cumulative sample size over 10 years may not substantially exceed 50% of the total population living in a given area. Larger sample sizes would mean that the same persons would be interviewed several times and would be subjected to an unduly heavy burden.
- The supplementation only increases the size of the sample. The selected principle of a survey of persons with supplementary questions on the household may not be modified. In addition, it is not possible to adjust or extend the standard questionnaire.
- Any canton placing an order to supplement the sample bears the costs of the supplementation. In this case, the FSO and the canton conclude a service agreement for the additional order.
- The cantons should ideally coordinate with one another the supplementation of samples. Homogeneous supplementation, i.e. at the level of Switzerland or a group of cantons, makes it possible to analyse the results more efficiently at the national level or a cross-cantonal level. The same applies to the cantonal level: uneven supplementations of samples within a canton are not recommended.

According to Art. 21 of the Ordinance on the Federal Population Census, the cantons can supplement the structural survey. The survey can be supplemented every year up to a maximum of double the size of the standard programme financed by the Confederation. This will ensure that the organisational and methodological conditions can be met.

Article 30 of the Ordinance on the Federal Population Census contains a transitional provision stipulating that the sample size of the structural survey for 2010 can be supplemented up to a maximum of four times the size of the Confederation's standard programme, provided that supplementation in the years 2011 and 2012 be dispensed with. This can, on one hand, ensure that the organisational and methodological conditions are met and on the other hand also makes available faster results at a finer level of geographic depth of focus.

5.2 Models to supplement the thematic surveys
According to Article 22 of the Ordinance on the Federal Population Census, the cantons and interested federal offices may in principle only request supplementations of thematic surveys which are evenly distributed over the territory of a canton. Although it would be possible, as for the structural survey, to obtain relatively precise results for individual regions, this would require a more complex weighting procedure and would limit the pertinence of the results for the cantons that supplemented their surveys. The only exception is the "Mobility and Transport" survey which, in line with the Confederation's agglomeration policy, is supposed to provide data for the 30 largest agglomerations.

The procedure enabling the cantons and federal offices to supplement the samples of the thematic surveys will be determined when the various surveys are designed.

The Omnibus survey cannot be supplemented. Additional topics or questions can be added to the Omnibus survey. This does not represent a supplementation of the sample as such.

6. Scheduling of the surveys and dissemination of results

Register survey
Demographic evaluations of the entire population are carried out annually (data from the population registers and the federal registers of persons). The first results are published within 8 months after the reference day (31 December of the current year).

Structural survey
The structural survey is conducted annually. The survey, first conducted on the reference day of 31 December 2010, takes place every year between January and April. The reference day is December 31st. The first results are available at the latest one year after the reference day. The results of the data pooled over three years (2010 - 2012) will first be available at the end of 2013; the results of the data pooled over five years (2010 - 2014) will first be available at the end of 2015.


Thematic surveys
The areas "Mobility and transport", "Education and training", "Health", "Families and generations" and "Language, religion and culture" are surveyed in a recurring five-year cycle. The schedule is as follows:

- 2010: Mobility and transport
- 2011: Education and training
- 2012: Health
- 2013: Families and generations
- 2014: Language, religion, and culture
- 2015: Mobility and transport
- ...

The data of thematic surveys are analysed annually. The first results will are published 12 months after the completion of the survey.

Omnibus survey
The first results of the Omnibus survey, which is carried out when the need arises, are published 6 months after it is completed.

T10 Table of surveys 2010 - 2014
[A table is omitted here]