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Switzerland - Conclusion

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Changes related to the family and the household composition in Switzerland remain moderate. Many of the relevant shifts in behavior and attitudes are comparable with experiences in other European countries. However, Switzerland is distinctive in some notable ways. On the one hand, Switzerland was an early adopter of modern lifestyles (e.g., demographic transition, decline of fertility, nuclearization, increase in divorce, and in unmarried cohabitation). On the other, what also remain are more traditional aspects, such as the low proportions of extramarital births and few single parents, as well as women's comparatively slow entrance into the labor force, and the persistence of such values and attitudes as a high appreciation of marriage and parenting.

These diverging trends highlight differences between liberal and more conservative forces within the country. Explanations for this polarization are twofold. First, Switzerland is a highly segmented society (in terms of its economic, cultural, religious, and linguistic conditions). Second, Swiss families are confronted with comparatively high thresholds due to important deficiencies in the country's family policy. The latter cause influences the strong postponement in the age of marriage and first births, and the increase in childlessness.

See also: GERMANY


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