BERN, SWITZERLAND – The percent of the working population that falls under the poverty bar in Switzerland fell between 2008 and 2011, from 5.2 to 3.5 percent, federal statistics published 23 October show. Some 120,000 persons who work are officially poor, defined for 2010 as approximately CHF2,250 for one person living alone and about CHF4,000 a month for two adults with two children under age 14.
The degree of poverty, measured as the difference between the average income and the poverty threshold, was also down.
The two groups most at risk are single-parent families and part-tme workers.
Swiss workers have a slightly higher risk of poverty than those in most neighbouring countries, using European bases for calculation, with a risk of 7.7 percent. Only Italy is higher, at 9.4 percent. The European Union average risk is 8.4 percent. On the other hand, workers in Switzerland are well below the rest of Europe for “severe material necessities deprivation”, at 1.1 percent, compared to the EU average of 5.5 percent.