A survey conducted recently by Link in Switzerland showed that while over 50% of Swiss described 2022 as being good, or fairly good and 15% described the same year as being bad, or very bad, with a further 26% remaining “neutral”. The survey universe covered over 1’200 people across all age groups.
As 2022 seemed to be a good year for the “majority” of people in Switzerland, it should come as no surprise that 83% of the population described themselves as being happy. This up by 3% vs January 2022! Some of the reasons for the positive happiness index were job related, with job satisfaction up to 82% from 75% the previous year and work-life balance up from 69% to 76% in January 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.
But the image of happiness was not shared by younger people and some interesting take-aways from the survey, pointed to a widening gap between the generations:
- For younger people aged between 18-25, life satisfaction continued to decline – and this quite dramatically – falling from 43% in 2021 to 19% in 2022!
- Some of the main reasons for this negativity among young people were:
- Feeling disadvantaged and having a bleak view of the future.
- Feeling insufficiently understood or recognised.
- Older generations not seeming aware of the deep dissatisfaction and lack of hope felt by the younger generation.
Feelings and perception – a common thread that run through the survey results:
Some of examples of this were:
- Men thinking more positively about the population getting on well – while women didn’t.
- Empathy in the population where the first set agree and the latter feels it is lacking.
- People living in towns versus rural people.
- Wealthy people versus poor people.
- Political beliefs also showed a similar divide, with:
- Right voters (38% of the population), feeling a lack of empathy in society, compared to 18% of those on the same issue – and who vote left.
- Only 7% of those voting right feeling people were good at empathising with others, compared 22% of those voting left.
In addition, more than half of those aged 18-25 said they felt there is a generation gap in Switzerland and a widening gap between the rich and poor.
- There is also a general view among the younger group that the gap between rich and poor is greater in Switzerland than in other European nations. In reality however, income equality in Switzerland is on par with the European average.
- In fact, in 2020, income inequality was far higher in Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Spain and Italy for example. With the neighbouring countries of Germany and France being similar to Switzerland.
Finally, the survey also covered Germany where people were even less happy than in Switzerland.
- In Germany, only 1% described 2022 as a good, or fairly good year. This was a whopping 28 percentage points lower than in Switzerland.
- 65% of the Germans surveyed described themselves as happy in January 2023, up from 61% in January 2022. This compared to Switzerland at 83%.
- One final difference between Switzerland and Germany was that of money concerns:
- 41% of Swiss reported no money concerns in January 2023, compared to 21% of those surveyed in Germany.
So while it cannot be said that happiness in Switzerland is the exclusive domain of older wealthy males living in towns and voting right, there are divides within Swiss society such as age, wealth, political views and location, that obviously contribute to the feeling of happiness if the recent survey is anything to go by!
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