top of page


Northern, Southern and Western Europe


Switzerland ranks 1 out of 162 countries in the Gender Inequality Index, where a high rank equals high equality. Women should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though.


Switzerland has a Workplace Index score of 2.7, a Marketplace Index score of 4.0 and a Community and Environment Index score of 1.1 in the Children’s Rights and Business Atlas, where countries receive scores between 0 and 10. A score closer to 0 reflects a need for basic children’s rights due diligence, while a higher score reflects a need for enhanced or heightened due diligence. Children should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though. 

Persons with Disabilities

Due to differences in data collection and definitions it is difficult to compare countries on disability prevalence rates. Persons with disabilities should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though.

Minorities and Indigenous Peoples

According to the World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples, nearly two-thirds (63 %) of the population are Swiss-German-speakers, and they comprise most of the business and financial community. Minority language groups include French-speakers (22.7 %), Italian-speakers (8.1 %) and Rhaetians/Romansh-speakers (0.5 %). Swiss-German-speakers are far from a homogeneous group, comprising Protestants and Roman Catholics, urban and rural dwellers, upland and lowland communities, and speakers of a range of local dialects and variants. Hence the belief widely held among Swiss, that all Swiss are members of minority groups. Four cantons are French-speaking and three more are bilingual French and German. Italian is spoken in the canton of Ticino. Graubünden canton is trilingual in Romansh, German and Italian. 

Switzerland has a high proportion of non-citizens in its population, numbering roughly a quarter of the total population, with some of the largest groups including Germans, French, Italians, Portuguese, Montenegrins and others. The vast majority of foreign residents are from other European countries. Foreign residents are concentrated in the larger cities. Of the approximately 400,000 Muslims in Switzerland, the majority originate from Turkey and the former Yugoslavia. Islam constitutes the second largest religion after Christianity. There are no official estimates on the number of Roma, but Council of Europe figures suggest a population of around 30,000. 

Migrant Workers​

According to the ILO Global Estimates on International Migrant Workers, migrant workers as a proportion of all workers is 18.4 % in the subregion Northern, Southern and Western Europe.

Persons in Armed Conflict

Switzerland ranks 174 out of 179 countries in the Fragile States Index, where a high rank equals high fragility. For monthly crisis updates, check out CrisisWatch

bottom of page