A survey of expats published on 12 July 2022 ranks Switzerland 43rd out of 52 nations on ease of settling in.
The definition of an expat is based on the sample used in the Expat Insider 2022 survey. This group was 46 years old on average, more female (52%) than male (47%), most likely to have moved to Switzerland for work (51%) and was well paid – 56% earned US$ 100,000 or more. Close to a third (31%) worked in either IT, healthcare or pharmaceuticals.
Overall, Switzerland ranked 19th out of 52 destinations in the Expat Insider 2022 survey with 76% of expats reporting they were happy with their life in Switzerland, compared to 71% globally.
While Switzerland ranked well on the quality of life index (6th) and scored above-average in the working abroad (16th) and expat essentials (20th) indices, it scored poorly on personal finance (31st) and ease of settling in (43rd).
Switzerland is considered to have a great economy and good career prospects scoring top for salary and job security. 94% are happy with the economy, 70% feel they are fairly paid and 65% agree that moving to Switzerland has improved their career prospects.
However, Switzerland was among the toughest destinations for settling in (43rd out of 52). Expats rate the country particularly poorly in the finding friends (43rd) and local friendliness (44th) subcategories.
One in four (25%) described the local population as unfriendly (vs. 17% globally), and 52% have difficulties in making local friends (vs. 37% globally). Unsurprisingly, 32% were not happy with their social life (vs. 26% globally), and 45% are mainly friends with other expats (vs. 33% globally). Just 7% were mainly friends with local residents (vs. 17% globally). “It can take years to get into Swiss social life. Most of my contacts were with other expats at first,” one French respondent said.
Overall, Mexico came out top in the survey, followed by Indonesia, Taiwan, Portugal, Spain, the UAE, Vietnam, Thailand, Australia, and Singapore. The top five destinations stand out with regard to the ease of settling in and personal finance.
The worst rated destinations for expats were Kuwait, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Cyprus, Luxembourg,
Japan, South Africa, Turkey, Italy and Malta. Kuwait was among the world’s worst destinations in
each individual index as well as in the overall ranking. In New Zealand it was difficult to find good work and too expensive. New Zealand came last on personal finance with a general cost of living rating of 75% vs. 35% globally.
The survey asked 11,970 expats representing 177 nationalities living in 181 countries or territories to provide information on various aspects of expat life.
Internations survey (in English)