2024: How optimistic are people in Switzerland about the future?

2024: How optimistic are people in Switzerland about the future?

With the champagne all drunk and the New Year’s resolutions in full swing (for now), the newly released “Hope Barometer” survey from the University of St. Gallen has revealed what people in Switzerland think will happen in the future. The university found that while people in the alpine nation lament the state of the world, the same cannot be said for their personal lives.

More people in Switzerland worry about the future

In the survey, conducted in November 2023 with the help of 20 Minuten, 67,6 percent of respondents in Switzerland said that the world as a whole would get worse in the next 20 years. This compares to 61,1 percent who said the same two years ago, a dramatic difference, considering the 2021 survey was done during the height of the COVID pandemic.

The study noted that most believe that “the threat of a long-term crisis has increased in recent years, while belief in a long-term prosperity scenario has declined.” “The outlook for the quality of life in 20 years' time has become gloomier year after year.” 

Young people lament the state of the world most

This is especially true for younger generations; the report described young people in Switzerland as being “more dissatisfied, more hopeless, believe less in [the goodness of people], have lower self-esteem, feel less emotionally and socially comfortable and value sustainability less than older people.” 

Andreas Krafft, from the University of St. Gallen, concluded that an increasing focus on the negative rather than a desire for the positive has led people to become increasingly polarised in recent years. “However, it is less the fear of an uncertain future than the lack of belief in a better social future that is increasingly causing helplessness, a lack of prospects and indifference, especially among young people,” he added.

People in Switzerland are happy with their lives

Nevertheless, while the people of Switzerland lament the course of the world, a majority, including young people, are satisfied with their lot at the moment. 58,1 percent of respondents said that they were somewhat or very satisfied with their life at the end of 2023, compared to 54,6 percent in 2021. 

The number of people who said they were somewhat or very dissatisfied with their lives has declined. Those in French-speaking Switzerland are the most optimistic about their personal lives, while those in Ticino are the least. When it came to the outlook on the Swiss economy and climate change globally, German-speaking Swiss are the most confident.

What do the Swiss value in life?

According to the study, good health, a happy family, marriage or partnership, having a harmonious life, independence, good friendships and a meaningful job are the most important aspects of life for most people in Switzerland. Money, advancement of career and sexual activities were seen as the least important for overall well-being.

For more information, check out the official study.

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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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