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, but could also be used for research projects of other institutions. In consideration of the utilisation period until the end of 2023, the use of data by third parties was stopped at the end of May 2022.

Last modification 26.05.2023

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