A recent survey suggests Switzerland might be losing its attractiveness as a place for foreigners to live and work.
Switzerland fell 17 places from 27th to 44th in the ranking of 68 countries done by the networking company Internations.
Switzerland’s overall ranking is a mix of good and bad. 78% of expats in Switzerland said they were generally satisfied with life there.
Top reasons for moving to Switzerland were work and love, with more women (55%) than men (45%) in the sample. The average age of 43.1 was close to the expat average (44.2) with most coming from the USA (10%), Italy (10%) or Germany (9%).
Switzerland’s strong point was quality of life (9th), while its worst scores were for ease of settling in (65th) and cost of living (67th). In the middle were: working abroad (20th), personal finance (32nd) and family life (34th).
Making friends in Switzerland is difficult. 62% of respondents in Switzerland said they found it difficult to make local friends, compared to the worldwide average of just 36%.
High pay explains much of the difference between rankings for personal finance (32nd) and cost of living (67th). 60% reported yearly household income of US$ 100,000 or more, compared to a worldwide average of 24%. 70% of expats said they were generally satisfied with their financial situation, with 21% saying their disposable income was generally not enough to cover the costs of everyday life, a result close to the global average of 22%.
Switzerland’s family life ranking (34th) was dragged down by childcare, which 61% said was hard to find and 74% found unaffordable. On the other hand 81% considered the quality of Swiss education to be generally good, with 43% describing it as excellent. Over half of expat parents in Switzerland (56%) send their children to a local state school.
Swiss nationals living abroad mirrored some of the views expressed by expats in Switzerland. 83% of Swiss living outside Switzerland said they were satisfied with life abroad and only 37% said they were likely to return. Top reasons for leaving Switzerland were job postings, love and improved quality of life. Most making the move (64%) earned less than they had in Switzerland. Swiss expats were 50.9 years old on average, higher than the average expat (44.2) and fairly likely (26%) to be retired. The most popular destinations were Thailand (8%), USA (5%) and Germany (4%). Many held a postgraduate degree (39%) or a PhD (8%).
The survey collected responses form 18,135 expats of 178 nationalities living in 187 countries.
Internations survey 2018 (in English)