What does the Swiss government do with your money?

What does the Swiss government do with your money?

New data released by the Swiss government has revealed what they spend their money on. In all, the study found that most public funds go into supporting the AHV and pension system, while comparatively little is spent on defence and the environment.

How much does the Swiss government spend every year?

According to the latest data, in 2021, the federal, cantonal and local governments of Switzerland spent 267 billion Swiss francs on keeping public services running. While the majority of the funds were acquired through taxesSwissinfo noted that the alpine nation still runs a budget deficit of around 14 billion francs a year.

Unlike other nations around the world, instead of the federal government, the 26 Swiss cantons spent the most (107 billion), followed by federal authorities (93 billion) and local councils (Gemeinden) (54 billion) - this is perhaps unsurprising, given that cantonal governments have significant control over the school system, housing and social security.

Switzerland's governments spent the most on pensions and AHV

When combined, Swiss governments spent the most (105 billion francs) on “social protection”, with 39 percent of state funds tied up in AHV, unemployment, disability and accident and survivors insurance to name a few. Old age pensions made up the largest part - along with the contributions made by salaries and businesses, the Swiss government spent 49 billion francs propping up the pension system.

Social protection was followed by education with 41 billion francs spent, most of which being invested in secondary and higher education. Economic affairs (public transport, agriculture, etc) and general public services (legal aid, foreign aid and basic research) rounded out the top four.

Swiss government spending in 2021

In all, here’s how much all governments in Switzerland spent on each category in billions of francs:

  1. Social protection (106)
  2. Education (42)
  3. Economic affairs (36)
  4. General public services (32)
  5. Healthcare (21)
  6. Public order and safety (12)
  7. Recreation culture and religion (8)
  8. Defence (6)
  9. Environmental protection (4)
  10. Housing and community amenities (2)

Interestingly, each branch of the government spent their money in different sectors, with the federal government spending the most on social services, while cantons and local governments chose to invest the most in education. For more information, check out the official data.

Image: / Luciavonu

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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