A recent survey of expats presents Switzerland as a double edged sword. The survey, which covers 59 nations, ranks Switzerland near the top on quality of life but near the bottom on cost.
In the ranking by InterNations, Switzerland is listed 30 out of 59 countries overall for its attractiveness to expats. However, its score contains both bright and a dark spots.
On quality of life, Switzerland ranked 9th. 99% of those surveyed said they were happy with the natural environment, ranking the nation second behind only New Zealand on this sub-measure. Peacefulness (95%), sanitation (95%), air quality (89%), transport infrastructure (96%) and political stability (91%) were other strong points.
Most expats (85%) also agreed that the Swiss economy was strong making Switzerland a good place to work.
On the other hand Switzerland performed badly on socialising and affordability.
Many Swiss-based expats reported that it was a hard to integrate into Swiss life. On this aspect Switzerland ranked 52nd. 28% reported not feeling at home and 61% said it was hard to make local friends. 52% said they relied on friendships with other expats, a percentage higher than the 32% average reported across the whole survey. Needing to learn a local dialect was a challenge cited by some respondents.
Finally, Switzerland was considered the second most challenging destination in terms of cost, ranking 58th, just above Hong Kong at 59th. 65% of expats reported being dissatisfied with the cost of living in Switzerland. The cost of healthcare in particular was cited negatively by 34% of respondents.
InterNations survey (in English)