Jump to content
Your browser is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this websites. Learn how to update your browser[Close]

The cost of living in Switzerland is among the highest in the world, with the cities of Zurich and Geneva recently named the most expensive worldwide.

The Swiss National Bank’s decision on January 15, 2015 to scrap an exchange rate ceiling with the euro made the Swiss franc gain in value and Swiss goods and services even more expensive compared with eurozone countries.

A study by UBS bank published in September 2015 found that Zurich and Geneva top the list of the world’s most costly cities, ahead of New York. 

It costs a Zurich family of three more than $3,600 (CHF3,569 in February 2016) a month to live, based on a basket of 122 goods and services that doesn’t include rent, the report shows. Geneva comes in second at $3,500 per month, followed by New York with $3,340. Rent for a two-bedroom unfurnished apartment averages around $2,390 a month in Zurich. 

Despite those expenses, the highest salaries in the world mean the inhabitants of Zurich and Geneva rank second and third to the residents of Luxembourg in terms of enjoying the greatest purchasing power, UBS said. The average Zurich resident makes above $41 per hour, 21 times more than a person working in Kiev, Ukraine. 

On average, total household expenditure in Switzerland is around 50% higher than the European Union average, according to 2014 Eurostat figures.

The Economist uses a “gratifyingly simple” way of calculating purchasing-power parity by using the price of a Big Mac. According to the January 2016 Big Mac Index, the Swiss must pay $6.44 for the same burger that would cost $4.93 in the United States.

The Federal Statistical Office has more data available on prices.

swissinfo.ch

Copyright

All rights reserved. The content of the website by swissinfo.ch is copyrighted. It is intended for private use only. Any other use of the website content beyond the use stipulated above, particularly the distribution, modification, transmission, storage and copying requires prior written consent of swissinfo.ch. Should you be interested in any such use of the website content, please contact us via contact@swissinfo.ch.

As regards the use for private purposes, it is only permitted to use a hyperlink to specific content, and to place it on your own website or a website of third parties. The swissinfo.ch website content may only be embedded in an ad-free environment without any modifications. Specifically applying to all software, folders, data and their content provided for download by the swissinfo.ch website, a basic, non-exclusive and non-transferable license is granted that is restricted to the one-time downloading and saving of said data on private devices. All other rights remain the property of swissinfo.ch. In particular, any sale or commercial use of these data is prohibited.

×