Switzerland has the highest life satisfaction rate in Europe, FSO study shows

Switzerland has the highest life satisfaction rate in Europe, FSO study shows

The latest study from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) has revealed that people living and working in Switzerland have some of the highest rates of life satisfaction in Europe. However, while many rated their personal, work and overall situation highly, a number of people said they have difficulty making ends meet. 

Average life satisfaction in Switzerland the highest in Europe

In their latest income, poverty and living conditions report, published on March 26, 2024, the government noted that overall life satisfaction in Switzerland was the highest in Europe in 2022. The study itself is part of a survey conducted by over 30 European nations, in which residents were asked about income, poverty, social exclusion and living conditions. In Switzerland, 19.000 people from across the cantons took part.

Overall, average life satisfaction in Switzerland came in as an eight out of 10. This was the highest rating in Europe and higher than the alpine nation’s neighbours Austria (7,9), Italy (7,2), France (7) and Germany (6,5). The FSO explained that overall life satisfaction has remained around the same in Switzerland in recent years, but has fallen across much of the rest of Europe. 

More than half of over 16s give their lives a nine out of 10

More than half of those aged over 16 in Switzerland rated their life satisfaction as a nine out of 10 or higher. “The population is particularly satisfied in interpersonal areas such as living together, the working atmosphere or personal relationships,” the FSO noted. Life satisfaction in Switzerland was found to increase with age, salary and level of education.

Switzerland’s good score was helped most prominently by the high level of disposable income available to residents. The country’s average disposable income was found to be 2,5 times higher than Greece's, 1,5 times higher than Italy's, 1,3 times more than France's and 1,2 times more than Germany's. “Despite the high price level in Switzerland, the population's standard of living is higher than in neighbouring countries and the majority of EU countries,” the study concluded.

One in 10 people in Switzerland worry about finances

However, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for the alpine nation: 9,9 percent of respondents in Switzerland said they struggled to make ends meet at the end of each month, while 4,9 percent said they were victims of “material and social deprivation” - meaning “that for financial reasons they have had to forego essential goods, services and social activities... were unable to pay their bills on time or were unable to cover an unexpected expense.”

The report found that in 2022, 8,2 percent of the population was on a “low income”- meaning an individual income of 2.284 francs a month or less, or 4.010 francs a month for a couple with two children. While rates of low income fell by 0,5 percentage points compared to 2021, it still means 702.000 residents were impoverished or at risk of poverty. 

What’s more, the FSO noted that the “price increases for electricity, heating costs and consumer goods that have occurred since 2022 are not yet reflected in these figures.” For more information, check out the full report.

Thumb image credit: trabantos /

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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