What are the Swiss most worried about in 2022?
A new survey by gfs.Bern has revealed the things people in Switzerland are most concerned about. Amid losses in purchasing power, climate change and rising energy costs, the survey found that there are - sadly - plenty of reasons to be apprehensive.
Swiss Worry Barometer in 2022
Every year, Credit Suisse, the major Swiss bank, commissions gfs to conduct a survey to find out what Swiss citizens are most concerned about. The survey for 2022 asked 1.774 people from across the country what their fears are, which is seen as doubly important this year as Swiss political parties prepare their policies for the federal elections, due to be held in October 2023.
“In times of inflation, war and pandemic, one could have expected several frontrunners," noted Manuel Rybach, Global Head of Public Policy and Regulatory Foresight at Credit Suisse. He said that overall optimism for the future has taken quite a knock over the last year due to high inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Climate change the main worry in Switzerland
For the first time, climate change and environmental disasters were found to be Swiss people's main worry, with 39 percent of respondents listing it as a concern. This is perhaps unsurprising, as this year has seen severe heatwaves, significant glacial melt and drought warnings throughout the summer, and 2022 as a whole is likely to be the hottest year on record.
In second place with 37 percent were concerns around AHV, pensions and social security in Switzerland, specifically whether the country will be able to afford them in future. In joint-third place with 25 percent were concerns over energy shortages and how the country can survive the winter without having to implement the government’s energy crisis plan.
Worries about EU decline as trust in Swiss government remains high
Interestingly, worries about Switzerland’s relationship with the European Union have declined by 8 percent to rank joint third with 25 percent. This is perhaps due to the fact the Swiss economy is fairing much better than the EU at the moment, despite being surrounded by the bloc. Only 19 percent of the respondents listed "foreigners" as a concern, a 1 percent drop from last year.
gfs noted that while concerns about the war in Ukraine are relatively low at 20 percent, worries related to the knock-on effects of the conflict (energy shortages, inflation) have all seen a boost in the last year. Finally, it concluded that while optimism has taken a knock, trust in the government, police, supreme court and army remains high, with 66 to 68 percent saying they had faith in the institutions.
Most common worries in Switzerland in 2022
In all, these were the most common concerns among people in Switzerland in 2022:
- 1. Climate change (39 percent)
- 2. AHV, pensions and social security (37 percent)
- =3. Energy crisis (25 percent)
- =3.Switzerland’s relationship with Europe (25 percent)
- =5. Inflation (24 percent)
- =5. Healthcare and health insurance (24 percent)
- 7. Supply chain security (21 percent)
- 8. Ukraine War (20 percent)
- 9. Foreigners (19 percent)
- 10. Refugees and Asylum seekers (16 percent)
- 11. COVID (13 percent)
For more information about the survey, check out the Credit Suisse website.