Since 1850, the census has provided every 10 years important information on the structure of the population in Switzerland.
In 2010 a fundamental change took place: the census is conducted and evaluated on an annual basis in a new form by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO). In order to ease the burden on the population, the information is primarily drawn from population registers and supplemented by sample surveys.
Only a small proportion of the population is now surveyed in writing or by telephone. The first reference day for the new census was 31 December 2010.
A short animation explains the fundamental change (inAdobe Flash, but also for swiping on the iPad):