Cost of living in Switzerland: basic facts
Switzerland is one of the most expensive places to live in the world. Taxes are relatively low, but insurance, services and food are expensive.
Swiss residents still have comparatively high disposable incomes and purchasing power. Workers in Switzerland require considerably less time to earn enough to buy universal products such as a Big Mac or an iPhone X.
Although salaries are higher and taxes lower than the European average, a large portion of gross income goes towards mandatory health insurance and other deductions.
Most people rent accommodation because property prices are high and a large down payment is required.
Main household budget categories
Housing and energy account for an average of 16%, transport 8%, entertainment and leisure 13% and food and non-alcoholic beverages 7% of a typical monthly household budget.
Average cost of rental appartments
The cost of renting an apartment in Geneva for instance is higher than in New York or Paris and twice as much as in Amsterdam or Brussels. A two-bedroom apartment in Geneva will cost between CHF 2,300 and 3,500 per month. Renting a house costs twice as much as an apartment.
An average two-bedroom apartment in Zurich will be in the price range of CHF 3,300. A studio will cost around CHF 2,500. Despite these high prices, Zurich scores well in terms of public transport accessibility and tax rates.