More babies and divorces: How the Swiss population changed in 2021

More babies and divorces: How the Swiss population changed in 2021

The latest data from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) has revealed how the population of Switzerland has changed over the last year. In 2021, 89.600 people were born in Switzerland, with most women giving birth later in life. The number of marriages and divorces has also increased.

More births than deaths recorded in Switzerland

The latest data found that in 2021, 89.600 babies were registered in Switzerland, 4,3 percent more than in 2020. In 71 percent of births, mothers were between 30 and 40 years old, with most newborn babies being second or subsequent pregnancies. 

The majority of babies were born to couples who were married. However, there has also been a notable increase in the number of babies born to partners, with three out of 10 children in Switzerland now born out of wedlock.

The FSO found that while the birth rate increased, the death rate declined significantly. In 2021, 71.200 people passed away, a drop of 6,6 percent compared to the year before. Life expectancy was 81,6 years for men and 85,6 for women.

Two in five marriages in Switzerland end in divorce

2021 also saw more people tie the knot, with 36.400 new marriages recorded in Switzerland. However, the number of new marriages is still well below pre-pandemic levels. For men, the average age to get married was 32,2 years and for women, it was 30,2.

Alongside marriages, the FSO found that the number of divorces has also increased. In all, there were 5,9 percent more divorces in 2021 than the year before, with the biggest increase being recorded in couples who had been married for 10 to 14 years. If current trends continue, two out of five marriages in Switzerland will end in divorce.

Finally, the FSO noted that the number of same-sex registered partnerships has been on the decline since 2018. In all, 582 partnerships were registered in 2021, 10,6 percent fewer than in 2020. This is perhaps unsurprising, as many couples are expected to wait until July 1, 2022, when same-sex marriage is made legal in Switzerland.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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