In a survey of 119 countries, Switzerland ranked at the top of the Local Purchasing Power Index with a score of 147. The 2015 index was calculated recently by Numbeo the world’s largest database of user-contributed data about cities and countries.
Someone in Switzerland on an average wage can buy 47% more typical goods and services than their equivalent in New York City (NYC). The worst country in the ranking is Venezuela where an average wage only buys 12% of an NYC equivalent.
Interestingly, Switzerland’s Local Purchasing Power Index manages the top spot despite having expensive groceries and restaurants and the world’s highest Consumer Price Index (CPI) of 126, 26% higher than NYC.
If you are lucky enough to live next to France or Germany, a bit of cross-border shopping could boost your Local Purchasing Power Index further. France and Germany have CPIs of 88 and 76 respectively comparing favourably to Switzerland’s figure of 126.
On the other hand not everyone receives an average Swiss wage, drives a Volkswagen Golf (the car included in the CPI basket) and lives in an average Swiss city. If for example you are a struggling exporter living in central Zurich with a family too large to fit in a Volkswagen Golf then the picture will be very different.