1 in 3 people in Switzerland experienced discrimination in 2022

1 in 3 people in Switzerland experienced discrimination in 2022

A new survey released by the Swiss government has revealed that a third of Switzerland’s residents have been the victim of some form of discrimination or violence in 2022. The Federal Statistical Office (FSO) noted that while the vast majority of people say they want to take action to combat racism and discrimination, comparatively few follow through.

One in three in Switzerland experience some form of discrimination

To create the survey, the FSO asked Swiss citizens and holders of Swiss residence permits whether they had experienced racism, violence or discrimination in 2022, and if they were to see an incident, whether they would intervene or not. The incidents in question include workplace conflicts, targeted insults, racial profiling by Swiss police and a number of other scenarios.

This year, the FSO noted that “nearly one in three people in Switzerland say they have been the victim of discrimination or violence” in 2022. This rate rises to 40 percent among expats and internationals, and up to 54 percent among 15 to 24-year-olds.

Most incidents of discrimination related to nationality

The majority of cases were linked to racial or national factors, with 50 percent of incidents relating to the victim’s nationality, 19 percent to their skin colour, 17 percent to religion and 15 percent of incidents relating to the person's heritage and ethnic origin. The number of incidents has remained around the same since last year.

Conversely, the study noted that while around 80 percent of those surveyed said they were “willing to take action” in order to combat racism, only 8 percent said they would attempt to intervene in all cases. For example, 50 percent of people said they would intervene if someone was racially insulted, while only 33 percent would do something if they heard a racist joke in the workplace.

20 percent of people in Switzerland do not want to fight racism

Interestingly, the FSO added that whether someone intervenes in a racist or discriminatory incident varied depending on nationality and sex: people with a "migration background" were the most likely to intervene in all situations, and women (41 percent) were more likely to say something than men (25 percent) if they heard a racist joke at work.

In all, the survey said that while much progress has been made in combating racism, and while the majority of interactions between different groups are “harmonious”, there is still much to be done. For example, despite the enthusiasm from most of the general public, the FSO concluded that “about 20 percent of the population say they do not want to take action to fight against racism. These people do not wish to engage via any of the forms of action proposed.”

Thumb image credit: Christian Scheidegger /

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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