Municipality Žalec, which is part of the Savinjska statistical region, measures 117 km2; this ranks it 54th among Slovene municipalities.
Statistical data for 2009 reveal the following:
In the middle of 2009 about 21,300 people (about 10,600 men and 10,700 women) were living in the municipality, which ranks Žalec 17th among Slovene municipalities. The population density was 182 people per square kilometre, which was higher than the national average of 101 people per square kilometre.
The number of live births was higher than the number of deaths, which means that natural increase per 1,000 population in the muncipality was positive. It was 2.7 (in Slovenia 1.5). The number of people who moved from the municipality was lower than the number of people who moved into the municipality, so net migration per 1,000 population in the municipality was positive. It was 9.3. The sum of natural increase and net migration per 1,000 population in the municipality was positive. It was 12.0 (in Slovenia 7.2).
The mean age of people in Žalec was 41.4 years, which was the same as the national average.
As in most Slovene municipalities, in Žalec the number of old people was higher than the number of young people: there were 113 people, aged 65 or more, per 100 people aged 0–14. This ratio shows that the value of the ageing index was lower than the national average of 118. It also shows that the mean age of people in Žalec is growing more slowly than in Slovenia as a whole. Data by sex show that the ageing index for women was in all Slovene municipalities higher than the ageing index for men. In Žalec – as in most Slovene municipalities – more women were 65+ years old than 14 or less; for men the situation was exactly the opposite.
Žalec had 10 kindergartens. They were attended by 808 children or 71% of all children aged 1–5, which was less than the national average of 72%. In the school year 2009/10 elementary schools in Žalec were attended by about 1,700 pupils, while various upper secondary schools were attended by about 790 pupils. There were 50 students and 8 graduates per 1,000 people in the municipality; in Slovenia the averages were 56 per 1,000 and 9 per 1,000, respectively.
Among people aged 15–64 (i.e. working age population) about 60% were persons in employment (i.e. persons in paid employment or self-employed persons), which is less than the national average of 61%.
The registered unemployment rate was 10.8%, which is more than the national average (9.1%). As in most Slovene municipalities, more women than men were unemployed.
In Žalec, average monthly gross earnings per person employed by legal persons were about 12% lower than the annual average of monthly earnings for Slovenia; and net earnings about 10% lower.
Every 20th person in the municipality was receiving at least one financial social assistance. In Slovenia as a whole every 23rd person received at least one financial social assistance.
The value of gross investment in new fixed assets in the municipality (EUR 1,305 per capita) was lower than the national average (EUR 2,564 per capita).
In 2009, there were 382 dwellings per 1,000 population. About 56% of dwellings had at least three rooms. Average size of dwellings in the municipality was 78 m2.
About every other person in Žalec had a car (52 passenger cars per 100 population); cars in this municipality were on average 8 years old.
In 2009, 349 kg of municipal waste per person was collected in Žalec, which is 55 kg less than on average in Slovenia.