Where is the cheapest place to live in Switzerland?

Where is the cheapest place to live in Switzerland?

New data from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), reported by Watson, has revealed the cheapest and most expensive places to rent a house or apartment in Switzerland. The latest figures show that the cost of Swiss rental contracts can vary by up to 900 francs a month depending on which canton you choose to live in.

Swiss rental costs continue to rise

According to the data, published on February 23, much like taxes and the cost of health insurance, how much someone pays in rent in Switzerland is highly dependent on where they live. For example, while the average monthly rent nationally stood at 1.393 Swiss francs a month in 2021, some cantons paid nearly double the amount of rent than others for the same sized dwelling.

In the same report, the FSO confirmed that only one in three Swiss households have actually bought a house, with 2,4 million compelled to rent instead. The new data is seen as prescient given the significant rise in rental costs over the last year, which has forced many to rethink where they can afford to live in the alpine nation.

Where is the most expensive place to live in Switzerland?

Starting with the most expensive, the report found that at the end of 2021, Canton Zug had the highest average rental costs in Switzerland at 1.824 Swiss francs a month. This was followed by Zurich (1.628), Schwyz (1.593) and Nidwalden (1.541).

Interestingly, this picture changed depending on how large each apartment was, with Zurich having the most expensive one-room flats, Zug offering the most expensive two, three, four and five-room flats, and Basel coming out on top for six rooms and above.

In all, here are the Swiss cantons with the highest average rental costs:

  1. Zug (1.824)
  2. Zurich (1.628)
  3. Schwyz (1.593)
  4. Nidwalden (1.541)
  5. Geneva (1.484)
  6. Basel-Land (1.435)
  7. Vaud (1.402)
  8. Aargau (1.393)
  9. Lucerne (1.392)
  10. Appenzell Innerrhoden (1.378)

The FSO said that these high rental costs were based on a number of factors, including the ratio of larger apartments to smaller ones in each canton, the average square metre size of apartments, how old the average apartment is in each canton, and how popular the canton is as a place to work or start a business.

Jura is the cheapest place to live in Switzerland

On the flip side, it was Switzerland’s youngest canton, Jura, which had the cheapest average rent in 2021 at 961 Swiss francs a month. The FSO noted that renting a six-room house in the canton will set you back 1.355 Swiss francs a month - you’d only be able to get a one-bedroom apartment in Zug for that price. Jura was also found to have the cheapest prices for all house and apartment sizes.

In all, the top 10 cheapest places to live in Switzerland are:

  1. Jura (961)
  2. Neuchâtel (1.044)
  3. Valais (1.147)
  4. Glarus (1.183)
  5. Ticino (1.197)
  6. Solothurn (1.203)
  7. Appenzell Ausserrhoden (1.217)
  8. Uri (1.219)
  9. Schaffhausen (1.238)
  10. Bern (1.253)

For more information, and to see how your canton did in the ranking, check out the official 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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