living in switzerland For Members

REVEALED: Which Swiss cities offer the best quality of life?

The Local Switzerland
The Local Switzerland - [email protected] • 26 Jan, 2022 Updated Wed 26 Jan 2022 11:11 CEST
image alt text
Do salaries in Switzerland make up for high cost of living? Photo by Henrique Ferreira on Unsplash

Thinking of a move or just want to rub it into your friend in another part of the country? Here's where you can find the good life in Switzerland.

While the concept of “quality of life” can be based on subjective perceptions, some factual data is also used to define and determine the well-being of the population.

The City Statistics project by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), examined a number of categories, including housing, health, personal safety, public transport, environmental quality and other factors to rate the quality of life in Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne, Lucerne, Lugano, St. Gallen, Winterthur and Zurich.

Here’s a look at several categories that contribute to good life quality in each of the nine cities.


Good housing is important to overall quality of life because it fulfils basic needs for safety, feeling of protection, privacy and personal space, the FSO said.

“A high dwelling rate makes the search for and the choice of accommodation easier and influences the price of housing on offer”, the study found.

This chart shows vacancy rates in each of the nine cities.

READ MORE: Top ten tips for finding an apartment in Switzerland

Infrastructure and services

The quality of local infrastructure is an important factor because it leads to  higher efficiency, as well as overall comforts and conveniences.

This is how the cities fare in this category.


The choice and availability of the transport network is important to satisfy daily needs such as work, shopping, and recreation, FSO noted. 

The price of monthly public transport ticket and the number of stops along each route is also taken into account.

Work-life balance

This is unquestionably a major contributing factor to the overall quality of life as it “influences well-being, contributes to productivity in the workplace and helps people remain healthy and happy”, the study found.

In this particular category, the FSO focused specifically on childcare options in each city, as it allows “to reconcile family responsibilities with their work commitments”.

READ MORE: A developing country’: Why do so few Swiss children attend childcare?

Civic engagement

“By taking part in political and social life, citizens express their needs, making a democratic contribution to political decisions”, FSO pointed out.

“This ensures that people are better informed and more easily accept political decisions. Civic engagement strengthens people’s trust in institutions and increases the effectiveness of political action”.


Pleasant surroundings are essential for good quality of life, while an environment that is contaminated with pollutants or excessive noise “affects the mental and physical health of the population”, according to the study.

This chart shows the average air pollution in the nine cities.

You can see here how these cities are doing in other categories.

And this link includes detailed information about prices and cost of living in each on the nine locations.

Quality of life is not exactly a new concept in Switzerland: the country and its cities are frequently ranked very highly in international surveys.

These are some of the findings of previous studies:

Quality of life: Which Swiss cities are the best to live in and why?

Zurich ranked world’s best city for ‘prosperity and social inclusion’

Why Bern is ranked Europe’s third ‘healthiest’ capital city



The Local Switzerland 2022/01/26 11:11

Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also