Municipality Žalec, which is part of the Savinjska statistical region, measures 117 km2; this ranks it 54th among Slovene municipalities.
Statistical data for 2013 reveal the following:
In the middle of 2013 about 21,400 people (about 10,650 men and 10,750 women) were living in the municipality, which ranks Žalec 16th among Slovene municipalities. The population density was 183 people per square kilometre, which was higher than the national average of 102 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 3.7 (in Slovenia 0.9). 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 -11.1. The sum of natural increase and net migration per 1,000 population in the municipality was negative. It was -7.3 (in Slovenia 1.1).
The mean age of people in Žalec was 42.3 years, which was higher than the national average (42.2).
As in most Slovene municipalities, in Žalec the number of old people was higher than the number of young people: there were 118 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 119. 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 kindergarten. They were attended by 903 children or 79% of all children aged 1–5, which was more than the national average of 75%. In the school year 2013/2014 basic schools in Žalec were attended by about 1,720 pupils, while various upper secondary schools were attended by about 740 pupils. There were 40 students and 9 graduates per 1,000 people in the municipality; in Slovenia the averages were 44 per 1,000 and 9 per 1,000, respectively.
Among people aged 15–64 (i.e. working age population) about 56% were persons in employment (i.e. persons in paid employment or self-employed persons), which is less than the national average of 57%.
The registered unemployment rate was 15.3%, which is more than the national average (13.1%). 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 11% lower.
In 2013, there were 404 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 10 years old.
In 2013, 325 kg of municipal waste per person was collected in Žalec, which is 5 kg more than on average in Slovenia.