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Swiss notch up high standard of living

The Swiss have among the highest disposable income in Europe, left over to spend on things like clothing and holidays Keystone


This content was published on November 11, 2014 - 11:51
swissinfo.ch and agencies

Switzerland has again been ranked as a country with one of the highest standards of living in Europe, according to a survey by the Federal Statistical Office. Levels of poverty and inequality in the distribution of wealth were also low compared to European averages.

The 2013 figures, collected by European database Eurostat, looked at the disposable income for members of a household after deductions such as tax.

The statistics showed that despite high prices, people living in Switzerland were better off than those in neighbouring countries and in the majority of other European Union states.

Only people living in Norway and Luxembourg fared better.

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In a ratio that looks at equal distribution of income, the richest 20% of people in Switzerland had a total income 4.2 times than that of the poorest 20%. This was below the European average.

Despite the good results, 13.3% of people in Switzerland in 2013 were said to be at risk of poverty due to the low level of their disposable income.

Those in single-parent families, those without post-compulsory education or training, or foreigners from the European Union made up the largest sections of this group.

A number of factors such as the ability to deal with unexpected costs or go on a holiday were also counted. In Switzerland, 19.6% of people could not pay for sudden expenses, compared with 39.7% in the EU. 

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