Swiss Observer

11 Reasons why Switzerland is The Best Country in The World

CategoryBy Ilias Ism

Switzerland is a small, landlocked European country that consistently ranks at the top in surveys measuring quality of life, economic competitiveness, and overall prosperity.

Known for its neutrality, natural beauty and efficiency, Switzerland offers residents and visitors alike an unmatched quality of life.

Here are 11 reasons why Switzerland is considered one of the best countries in the world:

Economic Stability

Switzerland has a vibrant free market economy and one of the highest per capita GDPs in the world: over $110,000 according to IMF data (OCTOBER 2023).

The Swiss franc is a strong, stable currency and the country has persistently low unemployment rates.

Strict fiscal policies allow Switzerland to run regular budget surpluses, keep inflation low, and limit public debt

Even during the global recession, Switzerland managed to power through with less impact compared to other countries.

A highly skilled and productive workforce focused on high-value sectors like financial services, life sciences and precision instruments contributes to the ongoing success of the Swiss economy.

Low Taxes

While not a tax haven, Switzerland is still known for its relatively low taxes, which allow residents to keep more of their income.

The country collects comparatively less taxes as a percentage of GDP compared to other developed economies.

For example, Switzerland collects 27.8% of GDP in taxes compared to 34% on average amongst OECD countries.

While income tax rates vary by region and income level, they tend to range from 1% to 13% compared to rates from 10% to 37% in the US.

Switzerland also has no capital gains tax and does not tax assets like cash, securities or stock dividends.

Reasonable taxation is an important driver of Switzerland’s high living standards.

World Class Infrastructure

From excellent roads, airports and rail systems to reliable power and lightning fast internet, infrastructure is yet another area where Switzerland excels.

Zurich and Geneva airports are repeatedly recognized for efficiency with short wait times and extensive global connections.

Switzerland’s roads, bridges, tunnels and rail network are well maintained thanks to steady public investment.

99% of the population has access to clean drinking water and 100% has access to electricity.

Infrastructure spending as a percentage of GDP is also amongst the highest globally.

Switzerland’s world class infrastructure makes it easy to conduct business and enhances overall quality of life.

Safety and Security

Switzerland has very low crime rates with violent crime being extremely rare, especially compared to other industrialized nations.

Most Swiss cities rank very high in personal safety rankings and violent crime rates are less than a quarter of rates in the US and UK.

The country has strict gun control laws and works hard to prevent terrorism through monitoring and investigations.

Switzerland is also well prepared to handle natural disasters with mandatory building codes, emergency shelters and warning systems helping minimize risks.

The country’s neutral political status also adds to the overall sense of stability and peace.

Natural Beauty

Switzerland’s postcard-perfect landscapes are recognized globally for their natural beauty.

The Swiss Alps cover 60% of the country with stunning snow-capped peaks, glaciers, mountain lakes and lush green valleys.

14 of Switzerland’s mountains are over 4,000 meters high and the country has around 1,500 lakes.

Switzerland boasts some of Europe’s most unspoiled scenery peppered with quaint mountain villages and cow filled pastures.

The variety of landscapes ranging from the Alps to the Jura mountains on the French border also make Switzerland extremely biodiverse.

Switzerland’s natural beauty and easy access to nature enhance quality of life significantly.

Work Life Balance

The Swiss work hard with productivity rates amongst the highest globally, but they also value their leisure and family time.

Employees are given generous vacation time with most companies offering 4-5 weeks of paid leave compared to 2 weeks on average in the US. Switzerland has one of the lowest average weekly work hours in the OECD at under 36 hours per week.

Weekends and evenings tend to be reserved for family and leisure activities with work life boundaries respected.

As a result, Switzerland routinely tops rankings for work life balance.

The Swiss get more done in less time and also have more time for the things that matter.

Healthcare System

Switzerland has a universal healthcare system that consistently ranks among the best globally in terms of choice, affordability and quality of care.

The Swiss system provides mandatory health insurance for all citizens while allowing flexibility and choice amongst private health insurers.

Although out of pocket costs can be high due to co-pays and deductibles, costs are still lower than in the US while providing excellent coverage and access.

Healthcare spending per capita is quite high but the money pays off through better health outcomes including high life expectancy.

Healthcare regularly tops lists of why expats choose Switzerland.

Education System

The OECD ranks Switzerland’s education system amongst the best globally for quality and equity.

The literacy rate is 99% with strong student performance on international rankings.

Education spending per student is the third highest globally.

School infrastructure rivals that of top universities with excellent facilities and small class sizes.

Switzerland’s education model focuses on apprenticeships and vocational training with close collaboration between schools and employers.

Higher education includes world renowned universities and business schools like ETH Zurich and IMD.

25% of the population holds tertiary degrees – ranking amongst the highest globally.

While tuition can be high for international students, education quality is excellent at all levels.


Switzerland has a long history of innovation with Swiss scientists contributing discoveries like LSD and Velcro.

Pharmaceutical and chemical companies like Novartis and Clariant lead on biotech and life sciences research.

Switzerland files amongst the most patents per capita with strong intellectual property protection.

Government research and development spending relative to GDP is the second highest globally.

Innovation is also supported through regional industry clusters and public private partnerships between universities and corporations.

Swiss innovation boosts economic competitiveness while also contributing to global scientific advancement.

Standard of Living

Switzerland’s combination of economic prosperity, safety, nature and efficiency make it one of the best places to live.

Swiss cities like Zurich and Geneva regularly top quality of living surveys.

Switzerland performs well on OECD better life rankings with above average scores for jobs, income, housing, health, environment, education, safety, work life balance and life satisfaction.

Almost all Swiss households have access to cars and modern conveniences like high speed internet.

Switzerland is also extremely well connected through an efficient transport network making accessing jobs, entertainment and amenities convenient.

Switzerland’s high standard of living is supported by strong economic fundamentals and very liveable cities.

Political System

Switzerland’s decentralized political system based on semi-direct democracy, neutrality, federalism and non-centralization has contributed to the country’s stability and prosperity.

Swiss citizens can propose and vote on constitutional amendments through referendums while municipalities and cantons have significant autonomy and independence.

Consensus building focuses on inclusion across linguistic, religious and cultural differences.

Switzerland has strong property rights and business freedoms.

The Swiss political system allows citizens to directly influence policymaking while also balancing local autonomy with national cohesion.


Switzerland leads rankings on economic competitiveness, quality of life, innovation and good governance thanks to an enviable mix of social, political and economic success factors.

For citizens, Switzerland provides prosperity, leisure time and access to pristine nature.

For businesses, it offers economic and political stability, coupled with highly skilled talent and supportive policy environment.

Despite high costs, Switzerland remains attractive for locals and expats alike thanks to the unparalleled quality of living it provides.

Small in size but mighty in every aspect, Switzerland remains one of the world’s best countries and a model for others to emulate.