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Taking the pulse of progress in Switzerland

The Credit Suisse Progress Barometer is a new way to measure what Swiss people think about progress in society, politics and the economy.

We decided to take the pulse of progress across Switzerland to find out how the country is moving forward and where the wheels of change still need to turn.

A representative study of the Swiss population, our research shows where and how Swiss people welcome change.

We put all the information together to create our Progress Barometer. This shows that although Switzerland is already highly progressive, Swiss voters want to accelerate change when it comes to equal rights and education.

Progress shouldn't come into conflict with fundamental Swiss values, though. Visionary infrastructure projects enjoy widespread public support, as long as they act as a catalyst to solve political and economic problems.

What progress means today

Our study discovered seven areas where Swiss people feel strongly about progress.

  1. Traffic jams and crowded trains: taking the bold step of moving traffic underground is the top area where participants wanted to see progress.
  2. Promoting equal rights: In the social sphere, respondents are particularly concerned with issues of gender equality in general as well as childcare and gay rights.
  3. More free media: Asked where they would most like to slow progress, the Swiss again focus on an issue in the social sphere: the decline of independent media in Switzerland.
  4. More education: The respondents want Switzerland to invest more tax revenues in research, and they believe that there should be greater emphasis on lifelong learning – at least in part because Switzerland's educational resources are among the factors that make the country an attractive location.
  5. Value creation at the local level: In the economic sphere, the Swiss would most like to see a decline in the trends toward outsourcing – moving jobs to third-party companies in Switzerland as well as abroad – and hiring skilled foreign workers.
  6. More technology: Most respondents would welcome further progress toward digitalization – which makes us more efficient but will also do away with some traditional occupations. We found little opposition to the increased use of robots.
  7. Real economic progress: Based on a total of 31 real economic indicators, Switzerland ranks first when it comes to progress in the economy, society and politics, compared with 35 other countries[1].

[1] Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States.

Take a tour of the Progress Barometer


Fast. Forward.

Our study shows that opinion leaders are more eager than the electorate as a whole to accelerate progress – and that applies to the economic, social and political arenas.

What's particularly striking is that Swiss people are so willing to support further progress, given that Switzerland already ranks at the top for progress on our index when it comes to a number of real economic indicators.

Read our study of what progress means to Swiss people.

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