swissworld.org - Switzerland's official information portal

swissworld.org - Switzerland's official information portal

Your Gateway to Switzerland

Family life

A Swiss family (in new window)

A Swiss family© Christian Helmle

People marry relatively late; they concentrate on their training and career before they start a family. Swiss women are among the oldest in Europe at the birth of their first child.

The majority of couples have only 1 or 2 children. In 2004 the average number of children per woman was 1.42, less than the EU average of 1.5. The world average is 2.65.

Surveys have shown that parents put financial difficulties as the main reason for restricting family size. Large flats are expensive, and there is a shortage of affordable child care.

The Swiss family

The Swiss family (2005)
Indicator Value 2005
Source: Federal Statistical Office (2005)  
Age at first marriage 31 (men) / 28.7 (women)
divorce rate 52.6%
children per woman 1.42
mother's age at birth of first child 29.5

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