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  • Swiss statistics

Good, not so good

25.11.2020 – Marc Lettau


Encouraging non-COVID-related statistics – yes, they do exist. Take the share of electricity obtained from renewable sources, for example. In 2019, 75 per cent of the power consumed in Switzerland was sustainable. In particular, solar, wind, biomass and hydroelectric power sources are becoming increasingly important..


Bottles, cans, newspapers, batteries, organic waste – the Swiss love recycling these and many other materials. Per capita, 369 kilograms of waste are properly recycled every year in Switzerland. We can either applaud this or we can ponder how on earth we manage to produce so much rubbish in the first place.


Switzerland has myriad regional newspapers. Turn the pages and we realise how similar a lot of the news looks nowadays: same content, same analysis, same layout. The loss of media diversity is most evident in coverage of domestic politics, where 41 per cent of all newspaper articles now appear in several, if not many, publications simultaneously. Our media landscape is anything but varied.


Happier news from Switzerland’s universities, where the proportion of female students is increasing. For example, 58.6 per cent of people who study at the University of Zurich are women. This figure is set to rise. Marie Heim-Vögtlin, who in 1874 became the first female student to graduate from Zurich, would certainly have been pleased. She was in a minority of one back then.


The number of new cars sold in Switzerland is currently down year-on-year. Electric cars are the only vehicles bucking this trend: sales were 160 per cent up in August 2020 alone. One only hopes that all these “eco-friendly” cars actually use electricity from renewable sources.

Picture: Marie Heim-Vögtlin (1845–1916) was Switzerland’s first-ever female student. She went to the University of Zurich, where women students are no longer in the minority. Illustration: Libernensis, University Library of Berne