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Expats in Switzerland report safe, comfortable, and lonely life

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Not just mountains and cow-bells: Oerlikon, near Zurich. © Keystone / Christian Beutler

Around three-quarters of foreign workers in Switzerland say they are satisfied with their life here, an annual survey has found.

Overall, Switzerland ranks 23rd out of 53 countries in the “Expat Insider 2023” report published by the InterNations group – down three places on last year’s ranking.

Respondents particularly reported a fondness for the high quality of life in Switzerland, as well as for their financial situation.

Read more: “expat”, “immigrant”, or “emigrant”?

The country also came out strongly in the “Safety and Security” and “Environment and Climate” sub-categories. Work, salaries, and secure jobs were also rated highly.

As in previous years, however, foreign workers reported difficulty adapting to life, with Switzerland 47th on this score. One in five said the Swiss population was generally unfriendly, more than half said it was difficult to make friends with locals, and almost one in four reported not feeling welcome.

By comparison, one-third of respondents worldwide said they had difficulty making local friends, and only 15% reported not feeling welcome in their adopted country.

+ Read more: the ups and downs of moving to Switzerland

According to the survey results, the best destinations for emigrants are Mexico, Spain and Panama.

More than 12,000 people living in 53 countries took part in the study. A sample size of at least 50 participants is required for a country to be included in the overall ranking.

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