For a long time, Switzerland has been hovering in the HSBC top ten list of the most attractive countries for expatriates in the world. In 2019, Switzerland is not only one of the ten—it’s the number one best destination for expatriate workers in the world. Finally, someone had to topple Singapore which has been the best destination for expatriate workers, four years in a row. 

Will Switzerland also maintain it’s position for that long? With its fast career progression, good pay, and “stunning scenery,” chances are high.

Economic criteria: Switzerland's strong point for expats

Regarding the economic aspects, expats in Switzerland can earn on average $111,587 a year, far above the $75,966 global average for expats. While this might not stack up against places like Shanghai and Dubai, where expats can earn between $140,000 and $150,000 on average, Switzerland still remains desirable because has numerous other non-economic benefits.

Moving to Switzerland allows a strong salary increase

Expatriates switching to Switzerland report a significant increase in their salaries and compensation. Switzerland is one of the top-ranking countries when it comes to salary increments. 

The best salary available is in Switzerland

Thanks to a relatively good level of taxation compared to other jurisdictions, Switzerland ranks among the best countries for disposable income. It should be noted that these incomes correspond to high average incomes, generally intended for executives or senior managers).

Switzerland allows expats to have a good savings capacity

In Switzerland, high incomes are to be matched with a high cost of living. As a result, expats who have made a move to Switzerland save in a rather satisfactory way since the country also ranks high globally on savings capacity.

The economic stability of Switzerland

From an economic point of view, the Swiss economy inspires confidence in the expatriate community since a large majority of them give a positive opinion on the Swiss economy, placing the country in the 1st position globally. This stability is an integral part of Switzerland's appeal to expatriates and investors alike. To illustrate this, one can mention for example the stability of taxation in Switzerland (which is one of the facets of the country's economic stability), the country proposing rules and tax rates that change little from one year to the other.

Job security in Switzerland

Despite a relatively flexible and fairly balanced labour law between employees and employers, expatriates believe that Switzerland provides real job security since the country is ranked among the top five countries in the world.

Switzerland supports career progress

It seems that a job held in Switzerland allows expatriates to benefit from a "boost" for their careers. The country is also among the top five countries with the best career progression. We can, therefore, say that Switzerland is becoming a staple in expatriates' careers.

Is it easy to integrate into Switzerland or to make friends? Well, this is debatable. Since most expatriates are in Switzerland are English-speaking, the language itself is a natural barrier to integration and the ability to make friends in the country.  


For the criterion of safety, Switzerland also ranks among the top five. Historically a neutral country, Switzerland is rarely associated with armed conflict, and the police ensure the safety of the inhabitants, as well in the cities as in the countryside.

Financial aspects

In the study, expatriates evaluated the different financial aspects: the offer of banking institutions, financial services offered, etc. By coming to Switzerland, expatriates will, for the most part, have a currency exchange problem and probably also specific needs related to the different trips they regularly have to make. On the criterion of financial aspects, expatriates position Switzerland 22nd out of 31.

Regarding access to a property, expatriates in the study are on the same page: Switzerland is one of the countries where it is the hardest to become an owner. This observation is probably the due to the high selling prices of real estate,. In some cantons, it is sometimes necessary to pay very large sums for, particularly small areas.

The hospital infrastructure in Switzerland is generally of good quality but health care is very expensive.

The political and economic stability of Switzerland

For expatriates who sometimes come from countries in conflict, Switzerland probably appears as a very safe place, and this is very clear from the survey since 86% of them have a positive opinion on the political stability of Switzerland, with a first place globally.

People who want to move to Switzerland with their family will think twice after having read this study: on the whole of the criteria related to the family, the country doesn’t have a commendable ranking. To consider is the cost of the studies, the integration of foreign children into the school system and early childhood care infrastructures.

The ranking should only be considered for informative purposes as each person’s experience is very different. However, the first step to make if you want to work and live in Switzerland is to obtain a Swiss work permit, an aspect in which our experts are able to provide assistance.

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