Based on a study of 240,000 Swiss military conscripts between 2010 and 2015, what an individual does, where they live, their socio-economic status, and their political leaning correlates with whether they are deemed fit for the Swiss military forces.
The study conducted by the University of Zurich, shows that trades people, farmers and technicians are more likely to be fit for service than students, office workers or sales people. The least likely to make the grade are unskilled laborers.
Job and home commune
Young men from higher socio-economic backgrounds are more likely to be declared inapt, said professor Frank Rühli. In addition, those from rural regions are more likely to be declared fit than those from cities like Zurich or Geneva. Communes that vote further to the right are also more likely to produce young men fit for service compared to left-leaning communes.
Age also plays a role. Those between the ages of 18 and 20 years are more likely to fit the bill than older conscripts.
French-speakers least fit
The study revealed that French-speaking Swiss were less fit than their German-speaking compatriots, while Italian speakers fell somewhere in the middle. The German-speaking cantons of Nidwalden, Obwalden and Appenzell Innerrhoden had the highest rates of between 70 and 80%. Jura, Geneva (and Zurich) were at the other end of the spectrum with rates between 50 and 55%.
You talking to me?
The most common reason for rejection by far was psychological problems, the reason in 76% of cases. Among these, 27% were related specifically to military service, such as issues with authority. The rest were due to other psychological problems such as depression and paranoia.
Lausanne and Ticino had the highest rates of psychological problems.
Nearly 30% were declared unfit for physical reasons. Zurich had the highest rate of these.
Over time the level of aptitude has declined. In 2010 it was 65.2%. By 2014 it had fallen to 61.6%. 2015 saw a small rise back up to 63.3%.