The Swiss who live in urban areas tend to have small families; one or two children are the norm. Multi-generational households are more common in rural areas. Parents are expected to assist their children financially until they have completed their studies. Although most Swiss continue to live as traditional families, the number of unmarried people living alone or in common-law relationships is growing. More young people are postponing marriage and children. The average age of marriage today is about 29 years. Also, the divorce rate has risen in recent years.

 As a result of longer life expectancies coupled with fewer births, there is now a greater percentage of older people in Swiss society. The number of people over the age of 65 has doubled over the last 50 years and the number of people over the age of 80 has quadrupled. 

Nearly 70% of all Swiss live in urban areas. Some cities have a shortage of affordable housing. It is common for several young people to live together in the cities where costs are high. 

Many women today are still not active in the labour market. Only one in three women works outside the home. Switzerland has been slower than other European countries to recognize women's rights. Women were not allowed to vote in elections until 1971. Today, daycare services are scarce. However, as young women become more economically independent, they are becoming more politically active and are demanding more educational and professional opportunities.

  Did you know?
The Swiss are leaders in recycling everything from cans, glass and plastic bottles, to newspapers, furniture, batteries and clothing. The Swiss must pay for each bag of garbage that is picked up and they must place their garbage in special bags purchased from the cantons. 
Foreign workers are very important to the Swiss economy, especially in the tourist industry. Many of them are seasonal workers, who return to their home countries at the end of a job. There are about 850,000 foreign workers, making up a quarter of the labour force. Although working in Switzerland has allowed some of them to have a higher standard of living than they would have in their homelands, many live at a lower standard than most Swiss citizens. It is often financially impossible for foreign workers to bring their spouses and children to Switzerland.
  Did you know?
The Swiss take great pride in their homes and gardens. Many Swiss homes are adorned with window boxes of geraniums and other flowers. Their yards are fenced and look neat and orderly.