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A third of young Swiss experience financial hardship

Around 30% of young adults in Switzerland have faced financial difficulties at least once in their lives

Around 30% of young adults in Switzerland have faced financial difficulties, according to data from the Young Adult Survey Switzerland (YASS).

The survey, which questions some 70,000 19-year-olds around the country every four years, aims to gain an “empiric and interdisciplinary insight” into the “educational biographies, living conditions and social and political orientations” of young Swiss adults.

The main findings comparing the results of surveys in 2010/11 and 2014/15 were published by the Swiss Federal Surveys of Adolescentsexternal link on Tuesday.

Financial problems

Around 30% of young adults in Switzerland have faced financial difficulties at least once in their lives. The share is significantly lower in German-speaking Switzerland than in French-speaking Switzerland. In addition, young Swiss who do not continue their education after it is no longer obligatory are more likely to face financial problems than those with a vocational or all-round education. Financial difficulties are also more likely to develop into depression than in 2010/11.

Political orientation

The 2014/15 survey shows an end to the trend towards political polarisation benefitting the political right. The political centre has become the most important force among young adults in Switzerland. Both YASS’s 2010/11 and 2014/15 results illustrate that young people with an immigrant background are more likely to be on the political left than their peers without an immigrant background. Leftwing positions are held in particular – although to a lesser extent than previously – by young adults without an education or with an all-round education; rightwing views are found above all among young adults with a vocational education.

Health literacy

Young adults’ ability to find and understand good health information has slightly improved since 2010/11. For example, the proportion of those who struggle to distinguish good from bad internet sources on health issues has fallen slightly. In addition, significantly more young adults reported in 2014/15 that medical leaflets are easy or very easy to understand. As in 2010/11, young women assess their health literacy significantly higher than young men. It is also clear that both education and family background play an important role in the development of these skills around health.

Full story here
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