Study: Cost of life per canton

I just found this study about the cost of life in Switzerland per canton. What’s interesting is that it takes into account many inputs (taxes, housing, health insurance, commute, childcare etc) and many family situations (single, retired, married without kids, married with two kids, married with two kids in childcare, etc) and creates a map relevant to each situation.

In a nutshell: from a financial perspective, central Switzerland is very attractive. Western Switzerland is really hard, as well as the Zurich/Zug area (probably only interesting for high earners, but really not once retired).

Link to the Complete Study


The link is to a google drive account to which I need to require access?

Ah Sorry, i messed up with the privacy parameters… is it better now?


so we should all move to AI, UR, OW?

It varies with situation and between municipalities. VS, TI and GR are pretty well positioned for families with children, for example.

It also obviously depends on other life interests. Someone adept at city life might not enjoy the low cost of life advantage of a rural municipality and may value other factors more.


Western Switzerland is really crazy. Ridiulous housing prices, ridiculous healthcare costs, ridiculous taxes (compared to the rest of CH). It’s deep red in almost every metric. WTH are they doing over there and why?


Thanks @Julianek

Link to the web tool for each Swiss municipality:

Direct link to the report from the author’s website (Credit Suisse):


No, not according to NZZ am Sonntag

The Lake Geneva region is pretty expensive, especially when you consider the scenery on offer (a beautiful view of the Alps, an exceptional photographic setting, well-preserved lakesides and a rich history where the first great bourgeois were present on the shores of Lake Geneva).

And let’s not forget that Geneva is the second largest city in Switzerland, where the majority of jobs are offered. The Vaud Riviera has also developed and even acts as a “sleepover city,” allowing people to go and work in Geneva or Lausanne. This has led to a huge concentration of population with equally huge disparities (ultra rich VS ultra poor). The result is skyrocketing property prices, healthcare costs, and so on.

Public spending is also huge, not just to support infrastructure but also to attract people.

By way of comparison, in Geneva, more than 40% of the population doesn’t pay any tax, and only 2% of the population pays more than 50% of taxes. It’s safe to say that public spending is at an all-time high.


And the nice thing is that all that stuff is funded in a sustainable way (Geneva has been running with budget surplus in the hundreds of millions).


Do you know in which areas GE/VD spend more than other cantons like ZH? I’ve lived in both, and if anything public services in ZH were somewhat better for like 2/3 (half?) of the taxes. But I’m in my net contribution phase (employed, healthy, no kids, good pay, …) so not very exposed to what is provided in both.

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If I paraphrase what ChatGPT tells me, Geneva has more people on lower incomes (driven partly by its “international profile” i.e. immigration) which means more spending on welfare benefits, housing assistance, and healthcare services.

There are more services to pay for and a lower % of inhabitants pay for them

It also mentions the infrastructure and support for international organisations, whose employees mostly don’t pay any taxes and use public services like schools etc.

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That is the ridiculous part…


Many of them live in France, because it’s cheaper :slight_smile:

Really interesting.
I see that there is an good improvement moving from ZH to ZG same as I see it in my finances.

Even if the report has studied a lot of different households. You can see that the they calculate childcare they only put 2 days instead of 3-5 (more accurate under my point of view).

Also each kanton and City has some peculiarities, for example the Freizeitbetreuung is heavily subsidize in Zug city (~20k CHF per year in comparison to ZH where is private).

There is an argument that the presence of international organisations for the past ~100 years has made Geneva attractive to expats and multi-national companies (with big profits )


So I have to leave VD…

Don’t, we did and now we could probably never afford to come back and we would like sometimes to be closer to our family and long time close friends.

But almost every Romand canton is a shitshow when it comes to housing, taxes and health insurance…

And even if you come back with high net worth and reduce your income (semi-retire, spend more time for inportant things) you get crushed with much higher wealth tax, that force you to work slave more/longer or manage to accumulate much more wealth before moving back to have the same amount available.

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I understand but we have no family in VD…
It’s pretty impossible to buy a house in VD for us. And everything is very expensive compared to VS for example.

VS (in most places) is cheaper when it comes to housing, taxes and health insurance, the drawbacks are ease of transportation, generally lower salaries and access to various other services. As a valaisan, I find the tradeoff worth it.

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