How much do you need to earn to be "happy" in Switzerland?

How much do you need to earn to be "happy" in Switzerland?

While it may be true that “money can’t buy happiness”, having some extra cash stashed away can certainly make happiness more of a priority. Now, a new study by S Money has revealed how much people need to earn in order to be “happy” in nations around the world. Here’s what they said about Switzerland:

The Price of Happiness in Every Country by S Money

To create “The Price of Happiness in Every Country” ranking, S Money determined how high your annual salary would have to be before any further increases in income have no effect on your level of happiness. This thinking is based on a study from Purdue University, which found that higher levels of wealth do lead to an increase in people's happiness but also identified a “saturation point” beyond which any further increases in income have no effect on happiness at all.

To rank each nation, S Money looked at what each nation’s saturation point was and compared it to the average cost of living and people's purchasing power. S Money explained that “what you buy shapes your happiness as much as how much you earn, then your happiness per dollar depends greatly on where in the world you’re spending it.”

Iran has the highest cost of happiness in the world

In all, Iran was found to have the highest cost of happiness in the world, with residents of the Islamic Republic having to earn 239.700 US dollars a year before they reach their “happiness saturation point.” Yemen (172.140), Australia (121.191) and Zimbabwe (118.342) rounded out the top four.

By contrast, Sierra Leone was the country which had the lowest cost of happiness at just 8.658 dollars a year. The African nation was followed by Suriname (10.255), Madagascar (11.355) and Guyana (11.707) in the bottom four.

Study: People in Switzerland need over 100.000 francs a year to be happy

The study found that Switzerland has the sixth highest price of happiness in the world and the second highest in Europe behind Norway. According to the data, a resident of the alpine nation has to have a job or investments that earn over 115.745 US dollars (103.706 Swiss francs) a year before they reach the country's happiness saturation point.

According to the Federal Statistical Office, as of 2022, around 29 percent of men and 17 percent of women working full time earned more than 104.000 francs a year - a figure which is also 25.000 francs a year more than the national annual average wage of 79.000. Despite the huge differences, Switzerland’s wealth / happiness gap is actually quite similar to other countries, with Germany's price of happiness coming in at 76.370 euros a year, 25.000 euros a year more than the national average wage in 2021.

High quality of life in Switzerland paired with high living costs

While Switzerland is known for its high quality of life - and for being home to some of the happiest people on Earth - it comes at a high cost, especially when it comes to rent, health insurance, food and other living costs. When looking at specific regions, Basel has the highest cost of happiness out of all Swiss cities at 128.718 US dollars a year, placing 15th globally in front of Zurich (122.434) in 23rd and Lausanne (121.319) in 26th.

For more information about the study, check out the official website.

Thumb image credit: RAW-films /

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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