Prices in Switzerland more than 50 percent higher than EU average
A new study by the Swiss government has revealed that the price of everything, from energy to food, is 54,4 percent higher in Switzerland than in the European Union. With energy prices rising and purchasing power falling, the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) concluded that it still costs a pretty penny to live in the alpine nation.
Sky high costs for goods and services in Switzerland
In the report, the FSO analysed the purchasing power parity of people living in Switzerland and 36 other European or near-European nations. Purchasing power parity (PPP) refers to comparing price differences in products and services. In this case, for example, if the average global price for water is one franc a litre, and water costs 1,50 francs a litre in country A, then country A has a PPP of 1,50.
In 2021, consumer prices in Switzerland were 54,4 percent higher than the European Union average. This makes the alpine nation the most expensive country analysed, ahead of Iceland (50,4 percent higher), Norway (41,2 percent) and Denmark (33,7 percent). The cheapest countries to live in were found to be Turkey, North Macedonia and Montenegro, where prices are between 48 and 59 percent lower than the EU average.
Switzerland's place on the list is perhaps unsurprising, given that Swiss cities like Zurich, Geneva and Lausanne are regularly voted as the most expensive places in Europe to live. However, while prices are high, previous studies have suggested that Swiss salaries more than compensate for the high costs, although this has been challenged by high inflation in recent months.
Swiss healthcare more than three times more expensive than EU
When broken down into specific goods and services, the FSO found that the cost of healthcare in Switzerland was more than three times higher than the European average, while meat products were 2,5 times more expensive than in the EU. On the flip side, technology like mobile phones, computers and audiovisual equipment was found to be 5 percent cheaper in Switzerland than in the EU.
While the price differences between Switzerland and the EU seem stark, some predict that this may be about to change. The FSO noted that while Switzerland ranked top of the list for 2021, the sky-high inflation seen in countries like the Netherlands, coupled with fears of a Europe-wide recession (that doesn’t include Switzerland), may make the EU more expensive in future.