Why is Switzerland the best country for expats?

Published 2019-07-16 14:09

Switzerland is not just banks and chocolate. The country also offers excellent quality of life and a plethora of other benefits for expatriates. So much so, that expats have chosen Switzerland as their favorite country in the HSBC Expat Explorer 2019. Here is what makes Switzerland a country of choice for expatriates...

Quality of life

Eighty two percent of expats living in Switzerland who participated in the HSBC Expat Explorer explained their quality of life had significantly increased since they had moved to Switzerland. The country does, indeed, offer a very pleasant living environment. Found in the vicinity of the Alps, it is easy to practice outdoor activities such as skiing or hiking or just sitting back and enjoying the scenery.

In addition, Switzerland is one of the safest countries in the world, both in terms of day-to-day security and the risks of terrorism and armed conflict. For example, according to the OECD, 84% of people feel safe walking alone at night in Switzerland.


On average, expatriates in Switzerland earn an annual salary of $ 111,587, while the world average is $ 75,966. "Take into account the cost of housing and health care when negotiating your salary," warns an HSBC survey respondent, however. Indeed, it is no secret that the cost of living in Switzerland is one of the highest in the world.

According to the Federal Statistical Office, every Swiss household spends 29% of their gross income, on average, on compulsory expenses, such as taxes and health insurance and 14.7% of their gross income for housing and energy. In addition, it takes about 632 Swiss francs per month, which is nearly 600 euros, for the purchase of food and non-alcoholic beverages. Salaries must therefore be able to follow through.

It is good to note that 30% of foreign residents in Switzerland work in finance, according to HSBC.

Career progression

Due to a shortage of skilled labor that has persisted for several years in many sectors of the Swiss economy, opportunities to work in Switzerland and progress quickly are more than enough. More than the diploma, it is the attitude and performance of employees at work that the Swiss employers take into account to give more responsibilities to their employees.

According to Manpower, the most difficult positions to fill in Switzerland are skilled trades, sales representatives, executives and managers, hotel and restaurant staff, drivers, administrative staff, engineers, specialists including researchers, lawyers and project managers, cleaners and auxiliaries, and finally, accountants and finance professionals.


Stability is one of Switzerland's top assets. On the political front, Switzerland allows citizens to participate in the management of the country through referendums. Moreover, it applies a policy of neutrality and does not participate in wars opposing other countries and acts abroad only on the humanitarian level.

This political stability promotes economic stability. In 2017, a study of Credit has looked at the economic performance of the Swiss Confederation since 1900. Verdict? The Swiss franc is the most stable currency in the world, the Swiss market is the fourth least volatile for equities and Switzerland has the lowest inflation rate in the world. No less !


Expatriates who go to Switzerland with their family express great satisfaction with the quality of the education system in their host country. The Swiss Confederation ranks first in the HSBC Expat Survey for learning and education. On the other hand, it seems more difficult to make friends at school: Switzerland falls to 24th place for this criterion.


The HSBC Expat Explorer survey was conducted among more than 18,059 expatriates in 63 different countries.