Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zürich. Zurich is Switzerland's main commercial and cultural centre. Switzerland is in Central Europe, east of France, north of Italy. Temperate, but varies with altitude; cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters; cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers. Mostly mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) with a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes. The official languages are French, German and Italian. Romantsch, a language with both German and Latin roots, is commonly spoken in the south-eastern Graubunden / Grisons region. English is widely spoken, though Swiss people will be pleased if visitors are able to exchange a few words in a local language. The main religion is Christianity. The economy of Switzerland is one of the world's most stable economies. Its policy of long-term monetary security and bank secrecy has made Switzerland a safe haven for investors, creating an economy that is increasingly dependent on a steady tide of foreign investment. The security risk for expatriates in Switzerland is low. Risks include low levels of petty crime and the underlying threat of terrorism. Other risks include the severe winter weather. The population in Zurich is 0.372 Mil (2014 est.), while the inflation rate is 0.2% (2014 est.).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates in Zurich as at 1 January 2015 is very high in comparison to other places in the world. In Zurich, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average in USD, is categorized follows: 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: High 2) Clothing: Very High 3) Communication: Very High 4) Education: Very High 5) Furniture & Appliances: Very High 6) Groceries: Very High 7) Healthcare: Very High 8) Household Accommodation: Very High 9) Miscellaneous: Very High 10) Personal Care: Very High 11) Recreation & Culture: Very High 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Very High 13) Transport: Very High Zurich is for example 102.3% more expensive than Montevideo for groceries, 78.3% more expensive for household costs than Durban, and 87.1% more expensive for transport costs than Athens. Zurich is ranked as a minimal hardship location. Hardship (also know as quality of living) refers to the degree of hardship an expatriate and their family are likely to experience in the host location. Hardship pay is compensation to encourage people to move, in particular to less desirable locations. In determining the amount of hardship premium payable, factors such as economic, political, religious, infrastructure, environment/climate, personal safety, health, education, and transportation factors are considered. The hardship premium for Zurich for an expat from Zurich is for example 0%, i.e. host location (Zurich) premium of 10% minus home (Zurich) location premium of 10%. Xpatulator.com has been created to assist subscribers calculate expatriate pay using the online calculators and extensive database of cost of living and hardship indexes, for 780 international locations. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship or expat pay in Zurich? Register subscribe to your home location and Zurich and run your personalised reports.