Economic well-being of the working- and retirement-age population (WiSiER)

The WiSiER (Wirtschaftliche Situation von Personen im Erwerbs- und im Rentenalter) database was created to facilitate analyses of the economic well-being of the working- and retirement-age population in Switzerland.


The database links harmonised cantonal tax data with data supplied by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), the Central Compensation Office (CCO) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

WiSiER contains the following data sources:

  • Tax data of natural persons and instances withholding tax data, from 11 cantons (AG, BE, BL, BS, GE, LU, NE, NW, SG, TI, VS, 2011-2015)
  • CCO/FSIO: Supplementary benefits (2010-2016), AHV/IV pensions register (2010-2016) and AHV individual accounts (1982-2016)
  • SECO: Placement and payment systems, (AVAM and ASAL, 2010-2016)
  • FSO: Population and Households Statistics (STATPOP, stocks 2010-2016, flows 2011-2016), Buildings and Dwellings Statistics (GWS), Social Assistance Statistics (SHS), Structural Survey (SE) and Natural Population Change Statistics (BEVNAT) (all 2010-2016)

In view of statutory data protection rules, Prof. Philippe Wanner of the University of Geneva, using anonymised AHV numbers, linked the data at the FSO.


In 2015, WiSiER contains information on 2.7 million taxpayers and their children. In total, 4.5 million individuals were included (3.3 million adults and 1.2 million minors). The database thus covers Switzerland’s three main language regions and 53% of its resident population.

Analytic potential

WiSiER will make it possible to update FSIO research from 2008 and 2012 on the economic well-being of certain population groups (employees, AHV/IV pension recipients, widows/widowers) as well broadening the scope of future analyses thanks to the linkage of additional data sources like unemployment statistics, social assistance statistics, the population register and the Structural Survey.

WiSiER also contains data on family relationship structures and the household, which can be used to analyse intergenerational mobility (e.g. income/wealth, education) and the situation of unmarried couples.

WiSiER makes it also possible to more accurately gauge the influence of events like disability, unemployment, divorce or the birth of a child on the economic well-being of individuals and households, as well as the capacity of social security systems to protect vulnerable groups like single-parent families, social welfare recipients as well as older workers who have exhausted their benefits rights.

Data access and period of use

WiSiER was created for FSIO research projects that will be launched in 2019. From 2020, third parties will be able to apply to the FSIO for data access to nine cantons (AG, BE, BL, BS, GE, LU, NE, SG, VS). If the request is approved, the applicant must seek authorization from the cantons, which have supplied their tax data. A data protection contract will then be established between the FSO and the third-party user.

The period of use, agreed upon by the FSIO, the cantons and the FSO, will expire at the end of 2022.


WiSiER was created for FSIO research projects but can also be used for research purposes of third-party users.

Last modification 04.05.2021

Top of page


Gisela Hochuli

Tel. +41 58 464 06 53

Ilka Steiner

Tel. +41 58 483 94 31


Print contact