Is this why you should move to Switzerland?

Is this why you should move to Switzerland?
File photo: AFP
Switzerland offers the highest standard of living in Europe, a new study shows. Here's why.

It's no secret that wages are high in Switzerland, but so are the costs.

Zurich and Geneva, along with London, are the only European cities to come out more expensive than New York City, a study published on Thursday by US-based economic research firm Glassdoor shows.  

But the report also shows the country offers the best standard of living in Europe – even after factoring in the high price of renting, food and transport.

Nominal wages in Switzerland are €72,000 (79,000 Swiss francs), higher than second place-getter Norway (€61,000) and bronze medal winner Denmark (€56,000), according to the report.

At the other end of the scale are Estonia, where nominal wages are €13,000, Portugal (€15,500) and Greece €18,500.

A comparison of purchasing power parity, meanwhile, shows average wages in Switzerland, Ireland, and Norway are equivalent to around €42,000. That’s twice as high as the figure for Estonia.

SEE ALSO: The 'richest' regions in Switzerland 

Taking it one step further, once tax is taken into account, Switzerland still comes out top.

“What matters ultimately for standard of living is the gap between take-home pay and price levels. Switzerland and Denmark take the top two spots,” the report’s authors show.

In fact, average city-based workers in Switzerland can afford to buy twice as much as workers in New York, the study concludes.

Another 2015 study carried out by Swiss bank UBS showed that residents of the cities of Zurich and Geneva had both the highest purchasing power and the highest wages in the world.

That same study found, however, that Zurich was the second most expensive city in the world behind New York City while Geneva was the world’s third priciest city.