Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cheapest Places to Live

A 2008 cost of living survey by Credit Suisse just came out in Switzerland. The survey identifies the cheapest places to live in Switzerland. Yes I know there really isn't a cheap place to live in Switzerland but it's a rather interesting report.


So were are Switzerland's cheapest place to live? The cheapest places to live do vary greatly from one Canton to the next, but there is a clear winner this year.

The survey gave a hypothetical example of a family with two children and a gross income of SFr156,600 ($133,000 ) living in a bought home. The report calculates that such a family would have SFr36,800 left over from taxes and fixed costs in the community of Bettingen, canton Basel City, but SFr61,400 if it lived in Rheinfelden, canton Aargau.


The Credit Suisse 2008 cost of living survey ranked the 26 cantons by measuring the disposable income of inhabitants: (The last survey was taken in 2006, and is shown below.)

1. Appenzell Inner Rhodes (first place in 2006)
2. Obwalden (7)
3. Glarus (4)
4. Thurgau (8)
5. Appenzell Outer Rhodes (6)
6. Schwyz (2)
7. Solothurn (16)
8. Schaffhausen (13)
9. Nidwalden (3)
10. Jura (15)
11. Uri (10)
12. Graub√ľnden (11)
13. St Gallen (14)
14. Aargau (12)
15. Valais (9)
16. Fribourg (18)
17. Lucerne (19)
18. Zug (5)
19. Ticino (17)
20. Bern (21)
21. Neuchatel (22)
22. Zurich (20)
23. Basel Country (24)
24. Vaud (23)
25. Basel City (25)
26. Geneva (26)


  1. The amounts don't seem to extreme to me. I'm curious what is included in fixed costs (mortgage, food, energy, car, etc.?). I'm also curious about what makes up the variable costs? If you put it in terms of dollars, a family in Basel Stadt would have $31,374 left after their fixed costs. If that's what's left for entertainment/travel, savings, etc., then that's more than most American families earning the same amount would have left over.

  2. I wonder how does these city compare to the rest of European cities. When I visited Lucerne and Zurich all I can remember is the ridiculous cost in comparison to Germany. Stuff from North Sea was like triple the cost compared to Hannover.

  3. I've lost your email addy! That would be great if you could send me the links you mentioned in your comment. My addy is ann at ipnos dot it.

  4. Seems you like the wrong place, ET. Lake Geneva is at the lower end of the scale. :) I'm glad we're in the middle of the scale here in Aargau.

  5. lol - it doesn't necessarily mean I HAVE to live in Vaud. ;-) There are a few other options for sure.

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  7. Hmmm. Interesting point from TBF :)

  8. Man! Makes you think twice about where you'd live, right? Or maybe not???

  9. Lopiccolo9:35 PM

    I have lived in San Fransisco and Manhattan, Switzerland is not so bad. Actually quite affordable and very gorgeous, I like Ticino by the Italian border best.

    If you buy on Italian side of Lugano is is cheaper but Italian taxes are higher, if you not earning income and want a second home go for Italian side near border.