Cost of living For Members

Swiss cantons with the highest (and lowest) purchasing power

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 7 Apr, 2023 Updated Fri 7 Apr 2023 11:35 CEST
Swiss cantons with the highest (and lowest) purchasing power
People in sone Swiss cantons have more disposable income than others. Photo: Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash

Switzerland is generally an expensive country, but as a new survey shows, people in some cantons are better off financially than in others.


With higher inflation, which hovers around 3 percent in Switzerland, the cost of living has gone up in recent months, especially in terms of housing, rents, and electricity prices.

Faced with the higher costs — including that of obligatory health insurance premiums — many people have less disposable income now than in previous years.

However, as the new analysis by GFK research institute shows, residents of some cantons have more money to spend (or save) than their counterparts in others.

These are the cantons with the highest purchasing power, as well as the average amount each resident has to spend, according to GFK:

In the first place is Zug, where each person has 78,473 francs a year at his or her disposal. Not coincidentally, Zug is also the canton with the lowest tax rate in Switzerland.

READ MORE: Why does the canton of Zug have Switzerland's lowest taxes?

Next are Schwyz (70,440 francs) per capita, Nidwalden (60,050), Zurich (55,610), Obwalden (53,070), Appenzell Innerrhoden (50,950), Basel-Country (50,680), Geneva (49,540), and Basel-City (49,476).

Overall, eight out of the 26 Swiss cantons have above-average per capita purchasing power of 49,100 francs, while more than two-thirds of the cantons have a below-average amount of money available for spending.

The last in the ranking is Jura, where people have a per-capita purchasing power of 42,530, which is more than 13 percent below the national average.


How does the situation look if districts and cities, rather than cantons, are compared?

According to GFK, the residents of Höfe, in canton Schwyz, are by far the wealthiest, with almost 120,000 francs per capita of spending money.

A distant second is Meilen (Zurich), where residents have just over 78,000 francs per person, followed by Küssnacht (Schwyz), with almost 73,000 francs per capita.

You can see all the figures here

READ MORE: How much do you need to earn in your Swiss canton to be well off?

How do these figures compare internationally?

While Switzerland has a higher cost of living than its neighbours, GFK’s study indicates that, with a total of 49,100 francs per capita, the Swiss have a significantly higher purchasing power in 2023 than their Austrian and German neighbours.

As a comparison, so far this year Austrians have the equivalent of 26,423 francs per capita for spending, and the Germans the equivalent of 26,027 francs.

The reason could be that salaries are lower in those countries, while the inflation rate has been higher than in Switzerland.

READ MORE: Why Switzerland's inflation rate has stayed low compared to elsewhere


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