Municipality Žalec, which is part of the Savinjska statistical region, measures 117 km2; this ranks it 54th among Slovene municipalities.
Statistical data for 2012 reveal the following:
In the middle of 2012 about 21,500 people (about 10,700 men and 10,800 women) were living in the municipality, which ranks Žalec 16th among Slovene municipalities. The population density was 184 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 municipality was positive. It was 2.0 (in Slovenia 1.3). The number of people who moved from the municipality was higher than the number of people who moved into the municipality, so net migration per 1,000 population in the municipality was negative. It was -7.3. The sum of natural increase and net migration per 1,000 population in the municipality was negative. It was -5.4 (in Slovenia 1.6).
The mean age of people in Žalec was 41.9 years, which was lower than the national average (42).
As in most Slovene municipalities, in Žalec the number of old people was higher than the number of young people: there were 115 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 12 kindergartens. They were attended by 937 children or 80% of all children aged 1–5, which was more than the national average of 75%. In the school year 2012/2013 basic schools in Žalec were attended by about 1,690 pupils, while various upper secondary schools were attended by about 810 pupils. There were 40 students and 9 graduates per 1,000 people in the municipality; in Slovenia the averages were 47 per 1,000 and 10 per 1,000, respectively.
Among people aged 15–64 (i.e. working age population) about 57% were persons in employment (i.e. persons in paid employment or self-employed persons), which is the same as the national average.
The registered unemployment rate was 13.1%, which is more than the national average (12%). 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.
In 2012, there were 402 dwellings per 1,000 population. About 62% of dwellings had at least three rooms. Average size of dwellings in the municipality was 82 m2.
About every other person in Žalec had a car (53 passenger cars per 100 population); cars in this municipality were on average 9 years old.
In 2012, 314 kg of municipal waste per person was collected in Žalec, which is 13 kg less than on average in Slovenia.