What do the Swiss predict their country will look like in 2051?

What do the Swiss predict their country will look like in 2051?

Switzerland’s annual barometer on future generations has found that most people in the country are not optimistic about life in 2051. Many of those surveyed expressed concern over climate change, natural disasters and the future of democracy. 

The Generation Barometer 2021 in Switzerland

The Generation Barometer 2021, as published annually by the Bernese Generation House in collaboration with Sotomo Research Institute, takes a snapshot of the opinions of people in Switzerland regarding the future of work, education and housing. According to the survey’s creators, a generation is defined as a 30-year difference between age groups, thus making this year’s theme “the world in 2051”, or 30 years from now. 

The survey asked 4.162 people aged 18 and over from German and French-speaking areas of Switzerland how they feel about the world in a generation’s time, and presented the respondents with 14 future visions for the year 2051. Overall, the majority of people surveyed are worried about the future, with 62 percent indicating that they are “rather pessimistic” for what 2051 holds. 

Despite the overall doom-and-gloom, not every opinion the respondents held was entirely pessimistic. While young people expressed concerns over climate change, natural disasters and water shortages, 70 percent of people surveyed still felt that Switzerland would not be using any fossil fuels to generate energy by 2051, showing that the majority of people feel that Swiss climate neutrality is a reasonable goal. 

Climate change, meat consumption and women in the workplace

The study also unveiled some other interesting thoughts on the future. Almost 50 percent of survey respondents felt that meat consumption in 2051 will be almost as frowned upon as smoking is today. 

Another surprising prophecy sees a U-turn on the current status quo in gender issues. 51 percent of people surveyed said that they feel more women will have a career than men in the next generation. 

While young people expressed concern over climate change and its related effects on the future, older generations are concerned about the state of government and the erosion of Western democracy. The survey’s authors note “people are increasingly afraid of China’s global dominance.”

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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