Switzerland rated as the 7th most popular country for international workers

Switzerland rated as the 7th most popular country for international workers

A new survey has found that Switzerland is the seventh most popular destination for international job-seekers, and the second best in continental Europe. The alpine nation was given praise for the high quality of life and jobs available, but faltered in categories related to registration and citizenship.

Which countries are best for international workers?

According to the survey of over 150.000 workers from 180 nations around the world, conducted by the Boston Consulting Group, the job website Stepstone and The Network, Switzerland is the seventh most popular destination for foreign employees. It also named the country as the third-most-popular non-English speaking nation for internationals seeking employment, just behind Germany in fifth and Japan in sixth.

In 2024, Australia took the top spot in the global ranking, followed by the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Writing in the report, the BCG noted that Australia has experienced an economic boom since the COVID pandemic and is “attractive to talent from abroad, offering job opportunities, visas, and great quality of life.”

Countries praised for relaxing migration rules

The report noted that the top four all have advantages as “they are, simultaneously, English-speaking countries and global melting pots.” More liberal immigration policies, such as the new non-EU student and work visas issued by the UK and the passing of the Skilled Immigration Act in Germany, also helped cement countries' dominance atop the ranking.

When it came to cities, the British capital London was rated as the most attractive for international workers. It was followed by Amsterdam, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and New York.

Switzerland takes seventh in international worker ranking

For 2024, Switzerland narrowly placed behind Japan to rank as the seventh-best country in the world for attracting foreign workers. The report found that the alpine nation is the third most popular place to move to among Europeans, behind the US and Germany, and the 10th most popular among those from Sub-Saharan Africa.

When it came to why people came to Switzerland in the first place, the most commonly cited reason among international workers is that it was recommended to them. Being proficient in German, French or Italian was the second most common reason.

Switzerland: High quality of life vs strict residence rules

As part of the survey, Switzerland achieved the highest score in the top 10 for quality of life, with 77 percent of respondents naming it as a reason to move to the country. 66 percent said that the quality of jobs on offer was one of the main draws, while 60 percent cited the Swiss tax system and 61 percent said that the country’s safety and security were grounds to make the move.

However, what held Switzerland back the most in the ranking was the country’s approach to integration and applying for residence permits. Just 18 percent of respondents said that the visa and work permit process was one of the draws for the alpine nation - with non-EU / EFTA citizens subject to strict quotas, language proficiency and qualification requirements, this is perhaps not a surprise.

Swiss citizenship not a draw for most expats

Very few (23 percent) said that they wished to move to the country to gain Swiss citizenship, and despite Switzerland being rated as the most innovative country on earth, only 29 percent said they were drawn to the country by innovation. 

The news comes amid the continued worker shortage in Switzerland, with the University of St. Gallen predicting in late 2023 that the country will be short of 800.000 workers by the end of the decade. With many jobs still in high demand, and the birth rate falling to new lows, it is likely that the alpine nation will have to continue improving its standing among international workers if it is to compete on the global stage.

Best countries for international workers

In all, here are the 10 best countries in the world for international workers, according to the Boston Consulting Group, Stepstone and The Network: 

  1. Australia
  2. United States
  3. Canada
  4. United Kingdom
  5. Germany
  6. Japan
  7. Switzerland
  8. Singapore
  9. France 
  10. Spain

To find out more about the survey visit the Stepstone 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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Jascha Kegelban 15:49 | 25 April 2024

Best countries to immigrate from shitholes of this world is more accurate description of these ratings.