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Switzerland ranked top country in world for ‘human development’

In a new global ranking by a United Nations agency, Switzerland was handed top spot.

Switzerland ranked top country in world for 'human development'
Swiss flag throwers attend the final day of the 14th International Alphorn contest on the mountain pasture of Tracouet above Nendaz in the southern Swiss Alps on July 26, 2015. The wind instrument, which is a part of the Swiss folklore, is made of wood, has a cup-shaped mouthpiece and is used by mountain dwellers in Switzerland. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

In terms of average life expectancy, level of education, and standard of living, Switzerland is ranked in the first place out of 191 countries, according to the new Human Development Index (HDI), released by the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

It is the first time Switzerland nabbed the top position in the annual ranking, though it always hovered near the top, ranking third in 2020.

“The HDI is a summary measure for assessing long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living», the researchers explained.

Switzerland excelled in all three categories, scoring the HDI value of 0.962 for 2021, the value which positions the country “at 1 out of 191countries and territories”.

Switzerland did particularly well in the life expectancy category, as average lifespans have risen over the past three decades from 77.4 to 84 years.

READ MORE: Life expectancy: Swiss set to live longer and prosper

During the same period, the country’s Gross National Income per capita jumped from 59,117 to 65.011, and years of education among its young people increased on average by 3.3 years.

In all, Switzerland’s HDI went up from 0.851 to 0.962 — an increase of 13 percent

However, the country did less well — though still maintaining its top spot overall — in the Gender Inequality Index (GII) category, which measures reproductive health, empowerment, and labour market participation.

“Switzerland has a GII value of 0.018, ranking it 3 out of 170 countries in 2021”, the report states.

You can see the results here.

This finding corresponds to the official government assessment which concedes that “gender inequality remains high in Switzerland”.

This gap is particularly visible in terms of general leadership, in the workplace, and in wages.

READ MORE: Revealed: The true size of Switzerland’s gender pay gap

You can read more about the HDI and see how various countries compare in this PDF document.

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REVEALED: Are these the ‘best’ places to live in Switzerland?

German-speaking cities dominate the list in a new quality of life in Switzerland study - here are the best places to live in the Alpine country.

REVEALED: Are these the 'best' places to live in Switzerland?

Zurich, Geneva, Basel are all beautiful cities with plenty of offers for their residents, but which would top the list of the best place to live in Switzerland? Turn out, none of them.

A new quality of life study commissioned by the daily newspaper Handelszeitung looked into several criteria to determine the best places in the country. The Gemeinderatings 2022 evaluated 944 municipalities with more than 2,000 inhabitants to make the ranking.

READ ALSO: Health, prices, and safety: Is Switzerland a good country to retire in?

Among the criteria to determine how attractive each area is, they looked into taxation issues, how safe the cities are, how many jobs are available, the quality of the real estate market (both when buying and renting properties) and the level of support for elderly residents.

Additionally, Handelszeitung looked into matters such as the availability of leisure offers, access to public transportation, and sustainability factors as well.

These are the top ten places to live in Switzerland:

  1. Cham, Canton Zug
  2. Zug, Canton Zug
  3. Risch, Canton Zug
  4. Altendorf, Canton Schwyz
  5. Walchwil, Canton Zug
  6. Meggen, Canton Lucerne
  7. Meilen, Canton Zurich
  8. Hergiswil, Canton Nidwalden
  9. Hünenberg, Canton Zug
  10. Baar, Canton Zug

German-speaking Switzerland dominates the list

The best city, Cham, did exceptionally well in the criteria of taxes (reaching the fifth spot) and real estate (11th in the ranking for this criteria). The neighbouring city of Zug secured second place, followed by Risch, all in the same canton.

Switzerland’s French or Italian-speaking areas have certainly not fared well, and all the country’s top ten cities are in German-speaking cantons. Moreover, Canton Zug gets an impressive number of six towns (and the top 3) in the best 10.

READ ALSO: MAP: The best cantons for business in Switzerland

The first French-speaking city in Switzerland to show up in the ranking comes only in 63rd place: Pregny-Chambésy, in the canton of Geneva. Then, Saint-Sulpice (VD) follows in 69th place, Carouge (GE) in 73rd, and Lutry (VD) in 95th).

Italian-speaking Switzerland does even worse: it only appears in 90th place with Collina d’Oro.