News / City Life

Top of the world! Switzerland crowned best country for expats to live and work in

Geneva
swiss-image.ch/Andre Meier

You knew it already, didn’t you? But in case you needed further proof, you’ve got it. Switzerland is the best country in the world for expats to live and work in, a new global poll has found. 

The nation has shot up an impressive seven places to take top spot in the latest HSBC Expat Explorer Survey, with expats here enjoying better quality of life, high pay and rapid career progression. It offers “the complete package”, the bank concluded.

A permanent presence in the top ten since 2011, Switzerland this year beat perennial top-spot-hogger Singapore into second place in the survey, which is based on interviews with 18,059 people in 33 countries. Canada placed third, with Spain in fourth (up ten spots) and New Zealand fifth.

Switzerland placed well within the top ten in all of the survey’s three main categories, coming seventh for ‘Living’, fourth for ‘Little Expats’ (kids and family) and number one for ‘Aspiring (finance and career).

An amazing 82 percent of expats said their quality of life had improved since moving to Switzerland, while 70 percent believed their new Swiss surroundings were cleaner and nicer than those back home and 67 percent said they felt safer here than they did in their own countries. 

But it was on the financial side of things where Switzerland cleaned up. 71 percent of expats said they enjoyed higher levels of disposable income, with an average expat salary here of $111,587, compared to a global mean of $75,966. What’s more, only 20 percent in Switzerland had any worries about the country’s economic prospects, and 86 percent were unconcerned about the country’s political situation.

It wasn’t top scores across the board, though. Switzerland faltered in several social categories, coming 24th for ‘making friends’ and ‘ease of settling in’, and 28th for ‘cultural, open and welcoming communities’. It also struggled in two employment-related areas, ranking 29th for ‘reaching potential’ and just 31st for ‘fulfilment’.

But then nowhere is completely perfect. If you’re a foreigner who's chosen to live in Switzerland, you can be smug in the knowledge you’re likely doing a lot better here than you would have at home. And you now have the figures to prove it.

Read the full results of the HSBC Expat Explorer Survey here.

Advertising
Advertising