Schnottwil is first mentioned in 1264 as Snotenwiler mansus and as Snotenwilere molendinum, though both come from a 15th Century copy of the original. In 1398 it was mentioned as Schnottwil.
Schnottwil has an area, as of 2009[update], of 7.18 square kilometers (2.77 sq mi). Of this area, 4.23 km2 (1.63 sq mi) or 58.9% is used for agricultural purposes, while 2.31 km2 (0.89 sq mi) or 32.2% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 0.62 km2 (0.24 sq mi) or 8.6% is settled (buildings or roads), 0.01 km2 (2.5 acres) or 0.1% is either rivers or lakes.
Of the built up area, housing and buildings made up 5.3% and transportation infrastructure made up 2.5%. Out of the forested land, all of the forested land area is covered with heavy forests. Of the agricultural land, 48.5% is used for growing crops and 9.6% is pastures. All the water in the municipality is flowing water.
The municipality is located in the Bucheggberg district. It is located on the western edge of the canton and is surrounded on three sides by the canton of Bern.
Schnottwil has a population (as of December 2020[update]) of 1,135.As of 2008[update], 3.7% of the population are resident foreign nationals. Over the last 10 years (1999–2009 ) the population has changed at a rate of 8.9%.
Most of the population (as of 2000[update]) speaks German (905 or 95.7%), with French being second most common (12 or 1.3%) and Arabic being third (8 or 0.8%). There are 2 people who speak Romansh.
As of 2008[update], the gender distribution of the population was 49.1% male and 50.9% female. The population was made up of 480 Swiss men (46.5% of the population) and 27 (2.6%) non-Swiss men. There were 509 Swiss women (49.3%) and 17 (1.6%) non-Swiss women. Of the population in the municipality 348 or about 36.8% were born in Schnottwil and lived there in 2000. There were 113 or 11.9% who were born in the same canton, while 388 or 41.0% were born somewhere else in Switzerland, and 65 or 6.9% were born outside of Switzerland.
In 2008[update] there were 14 live births to Swiss citizens and were 5 deaths of Swiss citizens. Ignoring immigration and emigration, the population of Swiss citizens increased by 9 while the foreign population remained the same. There was 1 Swiss man and 1 Swiss woman who emigrated from Switzerland. At the same time, there were 3 non-Swiss men and 2 non-Swiss women who immigrated from another country to Switzerland. The total Swiss population change in 2008 (from all sources, including moves across municipal borders) was an increase of 20 and the non-Swiss population increased by 7 people. This represents a population growth rate of 2.7%.
The age distribution, as of 2000[update], in Schnottwil is; 95 children or 10.0% of the population are between 0 and 6 years old and 140 teenagers or 14.8% are between 7 and 19. Of the adult population, 60 people or 6.3% of the population are between 20 and 24 years old. 340 people or 35.9% are between 25 and 44, and 207 people or 21.9% are between 45 and 64. The senior population distribution is 88 people or 9.3% of the population are between 65 and 79 years old and there are 16 people or 1.7% who are over 80.
As of 2000[update], there were 413 people who were single and never married in the municipality. There were 462 married individuals, 35 widows or widowers and 36 individuals who are divorced.
As of 2000[update], there were 371 private households in the municipality, and an average of 2.5 persons per household. There were 88 households that consist of only one person and 31 households with five or more people. Out of a total of 376 households that answered this question, 23.4% were households made up of just one person and there were 2 adults who lived with their parents. Of the rest of the households, there are 120 married couples without children, 142 married couples with children There were 17 single parents with a child or children. There were 2 households that were made up of unrelated people and 5 households that were made up of some sort of institution or another collective housing.
In 2000[update] there were 161 single family homes (or 60.1% of the total) out of a total of 268 inhabited buildings. There were 44 multi-family buildings (16.4%), along with 54 multi-purpose buildings that were mostly used for housing (20.1%) and 9 other use buildings (commercial or industrial) that also had some housing (3.4%). Of the single family homes 30 were built before 1919, while 54 were built between 1990 and 2000. The greatest number of single family homes (32) were built between 1991 and 1995.
In 2000[update] there were 380 apartments in the municipality. The most common apartment size was 4 rooms of which there were 115. There were 4 single room apartments and 170 apartments with five or more rooms. Of these apartments, a total of 358 apartments (94.2% of the total) were permanently occupied, while 12 apartments (3.2%) were seasonally occupied and 10 apartments (2.6%) were empty.As of 2009[update], the construction rate of new housing units was 3.9 new units per 1000 residents. The vacancy rate for the municipality, in 2010[update], was 0%.
The historical population is given in the following chart: