Best places to live in Switzerland revealed in new quality of life study

Best places to live in Switzerland revealed in new quality of life study

A new quality of life survey by Handelszeitung has revealed the best places to live in Switzerland. German-speaking areas dominated the list, with all the top three being located in the same Swiss canton.

Swiss Council Ratings 2022 (Gemeinderatings 2022)

According to Handelszeitung, the new "Council Ratings 2022" (Gemeinderatings 2022) report is designed to provide "help to all those who are looking for a new place of residence" in the alpine nation. Alongside helping people choose the right location in Switzerland, the authors hoped that the ranking would give "a basis for comparison and improvement for municipal policy."

On the commission of the newspaper, consulting company IAZI ranked the 944 councils (Gemeindes) of Switzerland which have more than 2.000 residents. These areas are analysed using 50 separate criteria in order to determine how “attractive” each area is to live in. A selection of the criteria are: 

All towns were then ranked from first to 944th in each category, with the average score from all the criteria being used to determine a town's overall ranking. According to Handelszeitung, the ranking is the “most complete” study of its kind to ever be carried out in Switzerland.

Top three places to live in Switzerland are all in Canton Zug

The report found that the three best places to live in Switzerland are all in Canton Zug. This year, the town of Cham took the top spot, with Zug and Risch rounding out the top three. Each town was praised for low tax rates, high quality of life and ease of access to public transport.

The top 100 was dominated by Canton Zug and Canton Zurich, with all councils on Lake Zurich - with the exception of councils in St. Gallen and Wangen, Canton Schwyz - being ranked in the top 100. Out of the five largest cities, Zurich fared best in 39th, followed by Basel (101st), Bern (201st), Geneva (204th) and Lausanne (304th).

Top 10 places to live in Switzerland

According to the Handelszeitung study, these are the 10 best 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

As you can tell, French-speaking areas did not fare well in this year's ranking, with Pregny-Chambésy in Canton Geneva being the best of the Romande in 63rd. Valbirse, Tramelan (Canton Bern) and Mümliswil-Ramiswil (Canton Solothurn) were ranked as the three worst towns in Switzerland.

Mayor of the second-worst town in Switzerland calls ranking a "bad joke"

This did not go down well with the mayor of Tramelan, Philippe Augsburger, who told 20 minuten that the ranking was “a bad joke, a pure and simple aberration. It is null and void!” He said that “there is something for everyone” in the town of 4.500 people.

“We have sports and cultural infrastructures that are envied far and wide,” Augsburger noted. Taxes “may not be the cheapest," but they aren't the highest either and access to the motorway is only five minutes away. "It's people who have never left their office who say such aberrations!" he concluded.

If you want to see how your town fared in the ranking, check out the interactive map on the Handelszeitung website.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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