More than a half a million people in Switzerland, including parents with small children, were living in poverty in 2016, according to the latest figures released by Switzerland’s Federal Statistical Office (FSO) on April 10.

The data show that the 615,000 counted included 140,000 people with jobs, or members of the so-called ‘working poor’, the data shows.

The hardest hit were single parents with small children, people living alone and people without further education.

As reported by The Local, 7.5% of Swiss people lived below the poverty threshold the year before last, up from 7% in 2015 and 6.7% in 2017.

The figure for Swiss citizens was 6.9%, while it was 9.3% for foreigners.

Poverty, as defined by the FSO, is an income of less than 2,247 francs a month for people living alone and 3,981 francs for a household comprising two adults and two children under 14.

In response to the data, the charity Caritas criticised the fact that poverty was on the increase despite strong economic growth.

In turn, the social welfare group Schweizer Tafel, which donates food to the needy, warned it was important poverty was not pushed to the edges of the national debate.

The group criticised politicians for their focus on “savings measures” at the expense of everything else, reported The Local.