Expats In Switzerland Have Money But Fewer Friends, Survey Finds

Each year HSBC releases its Expat Explorer Survey, now in its ninth year the 2016 survey has released important data on expats in Switzerland.

Surveying over 27,000 people about their life as expats in Switzerland, the report divides its survey questions into different categories including economics, experience and family, financial wellbeing, quality of life and ease of settling in.

This year the report found that expats in Switzerland have the best financial prospects but the worst social lives. The report placed Switzerland on the fifth place when it comes to quality of life up five places from 2015, while Singapore came in first, followed by New Zealand, Canada and the Czech Republic.

Financial Prospects And Social Life

When it comes to money no one can beat Switzerland, the small alpine country for the second year in a row topped the economics category especially relating to expat’s earning potential, career prospects and economic security.

The survey stated the following on Switzerland’s economic prosperity “Switzerland shines for the second year in a row, offering unrivalled financial wellbeing and strong economy for expats.”

More than 80% of expats living in Switzerland feel that they are stable financially, they also feel confident about the political stability and economy of the country the survey found.

On average expats earn around $180,000 a year and 75% of those surveyed said that their earning prospects were better than their home country. Furthermore, more than 70% of those surveyed said that they were able to save money and have disposable income.

Having said that not all the results were positive, on the social scale Switzerland did not preform as well as it did on the financial scale. The country ranked on the 17th place when it comes to expat’s experience settling up in Switzerland, forming friends and integrating into society.

Furthermore Switzerland only managed to rank on the 26th place for family category, which related to social life, education and childcare. Within other categories such as “integration” Switzerland ranked 42nd, and 44th second from the bottom for “social life.”

The report also critiqued the cost of childcare in the country more than 75% of those surveyed said that it was cheaper to raise children back home than in Switzerland thereby pushing Switzerland to the 40th place.

Switzerland has recently faced harsh criticism and made international headlines for voting last February to restrict the flow of immigrants into the country. This has caused many foreigners to question their chances of integrating into Swiss society.

Given the results of this report many feel that the country has to take a closer look at its integration policies and provide programs that foster social cohesion between foreigners and locals alike.