Municipality Žalec, which is part of the Savinjska statistical region, measures 117 km2; this ranks it 54th among Slovene municipalities.
Statistical data for 2008 reveal the following:
At the end of 2008 about 21,200 people (about 10,500 men and 10,700 women) were living in the municipality, which ranks Žalec 17th among Slovene municipalities. The population density was 181 people per square kilometre, which was higher than the national average of 100 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 municipality was positive. It was 4.4 (in Slovenia 1.7). 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 8.8. The sum of natural increase and net migration per 1,000 population in the municipality was positive. It was 13.3 (in Slovenia 10.9).
The mean age of people in Žalec was 41.3 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 111 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 763 children. Of all children aged 1–5, 75% were included in kindergartens, which was more than the national average of 70%. In the school year 2008/09 elementary schools in Žalec were attended by about 1,700 pupils. About 860 pupils from the municipality attended various secondary schools. There were 50 students and 9 graduates per 1,000 people in the municipality; in Slovenia the averages were 55 per 1,000 and 8 per 1,000, respectively.
Among people aged 15–64 (i.e. working age population) about 61% were persons in employment (i.e. persons in paid employment or self-employed persons), which is less than the national average of 62%.
The registered unemployment rate was 8.7%, which is more than the national average (6.7%). 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 11% lower than the annual average of monthly earnings for Slovenia; and net earnings about 9% lower.
Every 23th person in the municipality was receiving at least one financial social assistance. In Slovenia as a whole every 28th person received at least one financial social assistance.
The value of gross investment in new fixed assets in the municipality (EUR 2,029 per capita) was lower than the national average (EUR 3,165 EUR per capita).
In 2008, there were 385 dwellings per 1,000 population. About 55% 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 2008, 438 kg of municipal waste per person was collected in Žalec, which is 19 kg more than on average in Slovenia.