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  • Swiss statistics

About Emmas, lightning strikes and waste

20.11.2019 – Marc Lettau


Statistics back the claim that women are having children later in life. The average age of Swiss women on the birth of their first child is currently 30.7 years. In Europe, only Spain and Italy have a slightly higher average age.


A propos births: of the 42,838 girls born in Switzerland last year, 504 were called Emma and now there are more than 41,500 Emmas in Switzerland. The only name more popular is Maria (82,500). The most popular name for boys in 2018 was Liam. However, Liam is (still) a minority name: the Swiss prefer traditional names like Daniel (62,500), Peter (58,500) and Thomas (52,500).


There were 85,270 lightning strikes recorded in Switzerland during June, July and August this year. That is an unusually high number. By way of comparison, the electronic monitoring network recorded 53,430 strikes in summer 2018. Ticino was the main lightning hotspot.


How many kilometres do the Swiss cover in a year? On average 24,849 km. The most common mode of transport is the car (10,371 km), followed by the aeroplane (8,986 km) and the train (3,499 km). On foot the distance covered is 459 km, and by bike it is 301 km. It is interesting to note that holidays and leisure pursuits account for far more kilometres than commuting to work.


The Swiss recycle or compost more than half their waste every year. At the same time, the volume of their waste is on the rise, with 706 kg of municipal waste per person, per year. That is a lot higher than the European average of 486 kg.

Picture: Call the name “Emma” and more than one person is likely to answer: Emma was again the most popular girl’s name in Switzerland last year. Photo Shutterstock