International cost of living and hardship / quality of living data for 780 global locations.
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Switzerland is in Central Europe, east of France, north of Italy.
The climate is temperate, but varies with altitude with cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters and cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers.
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 Swiss tend to be formal both in business and social settings. Expatriate dress code is primarily a formal suit. The safety 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 currency of Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF). Banking is on a par with the rest of Western Europe and North America.
Health care facilities are good, however the cost of treatment for expatriates from outside the EU can be high.
The population is 8.4 Million (2019 est.), and the inflation rate (CPI) is -0.1% for Switzerland as at November 2019.
The Xpatulator Hypothetical Tax for Switzerland is complex as it is based on the current personal income tax rates which are levied at three different levels. Federal level (Single Taxpayer 0%-13.2%), cantonal level (Zurich 0%-13%), and at the municipal level (Factor of cantonal tax, which varies between 0.75 and 1.34 (City of Zurich: 1.19).
Within Switzerland we also cover Geneva, and Zurich.
The cost of living for expatriates in Switzerland as at January 2020 is very high in comparison to other places in the world. We have collected prices for the same items, world wide, based on Expat spending norms, in or closest to the location, and converted them to $USD so that we can compare the cost of 13 different baskets in 780 global locations. For each basket, compared to New York, the equivalent cost in Switzerland is as follows:1) Alcohol and/or Tobacco: for items such as beer, spirits, wine and tobacco related products such as cigarettes. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$790. Average price in a store for a midrange bottle of wine is USD$17.00, domestic/local beer (500ml) USD$2.35, imported/international beer (330ml) USD$3.00 and a pack of 20 cigarettes is USD$11.12.2) Clothing: for items such as business, casual and children's clothing and footwear. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$1370. Average price for an international brand of mens jeans is USD$107, a quality international brand of running shoes USD$111, mens leather shoes suitable for office wear USD$159 while a medium size international summer dress from a global chain store is USD$50.3) Communication: for various communication costs such as home telephone rental, internet subscription, mobile service provider tariff and data costs. A basket costing USD$200 in New York costs USD$288. Average price for a monthly standard plan internet subscription is USD$59, while the benchmark mobile tariff is USD$0.24 per minute.4) Education: for items such as creche / pre-school fees, primary school fees, high school fees and tertiary study fees. A basket costing USD$30000 in New York costs USD$29700. Average annual private international school fee (excluding extras) USD$19,261 for Primary School, and USD$21,434 for High School.5) Furniture & Appliances: for items such as dining table and chairs, home entertainment, kitchen appliances, and sofas. A basket costing USD$2500 in New York costs USD$1975. Average price for a 6kg front loader Washing Machine is USD$682, and USD$585 for a 46+'' LED UHD TV.6) Groceries: for items such as consumables, cleaning products, dairy, fresh fruit & vegetables, general food products, snacks, soft drinks. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$1090. Average grocery prices in a major international retail store for 1 kg apples is USD$5.16, 1 kg oranges USD$4.72, 1 head lettuce USD$3.08, 1 kg potatos USD$3.59, 1 kg boneless, skinless, chicken breast USD$32.96, 1 kg cheddar cheese USD$30.55, 1 dozen large eggs USD$7.06, 500g loaf white bread USD$3.51, 1 L full cream milk USD$2.07, and 1.5 L water USD$1.13.7) Healthcare: for general heath care, doctor visits, hospital stays, non-prescription medicine, and medical insurance. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$880. Average healthcare cost for a private practice Doctor visit for an uninsured patient is USD$71, and a private hospital stay per day including nursing care, medications, diagnostic tests, food, and related costs is USD$2,179.8) Household Accommodation: for items such as apartment rent, house rent, property purchase, mortgage rate, and utilities. A basket costing USD$5000 in New York costs USD$3550. Average expatriate house / apartment rent for a secure upmarket unfurnished apartment (3 bedrooms) is USD$4,868 in a central location, and USD$3,210 in a suburban location, per month, excluding utilities.9) Miscellaneous: for items such as dry cleaning, linen, magazines, newspapers, office supplies, and postage stamps. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$585. Average price for dry cleaning (1 mens 2 pc suit) is USD$11.40, while an international newspaper is USD$3.51.10) Personal Care: for items such as cosmetics, hair care, and toiletries. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$475. Average cost for a mens haircut and blow dry is USD$38, while a womens hair colour, cut and blow dry - medium length is USD$190.11) Recreation & Culture: for items such as books, cinema, sport and theatre tickets. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$560. Average price for a latest release international cinema ticket (average of on and off peak where applicable) for one adult is USD$23.54, and an international fitness, recreation or sports club membership cost for one adult is USD$106 per month.12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: for items such as hotel daily room rates, meals and beverages in a restaurant, and take away food and beverages. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$1220. Average cappuccino price (regular, medium) is USD$5.94, coke/pepsi (330ml) USD$5.15, burger meal (international franchise or similar) USD$17.00, and a mid-range international restaurant meal for 2 USD$130.77.13) Transport: for items such as fuel (petrol/gasoline), car hire, public transport, vehicle purchase and maintenance. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$1360. Average average price over the last year for highest available octane petrol / gasoline (1L) is USD$1.66, while the benchmark car sedan purchase price including taxes/duties for a compact / small / economy vehicle (1.4 L) is USD$25,098.
Switzerland is 45.7% more expensive than USA for groceries, 28.9% more expensive for household costs than UK, and 247.6% more expensive for transport costs than India.
Switzerland is ranked as a minimal hardship location.The hardship premium for Switzerland for an expat from Australia, is for example 0%, i.e. host location (Switzerland) premium of 10% minus home (Australia) location premium of 10%.