Switzerland is a small country with not too many natural resources; but this actually works in favor of its residents because the country invests heavily in its population, considering it to be its most important resource. According to the World Economic Forum’s 2013 Human Capital Report, Switzerland’s investment in education, healthcare and talent is higher than any other country. If you’re not already sold on the idea of moving to Switzerland, here are five good reasons that may just seal the deal.Top-notch healthcare
Switzerland’s healthcare system is considered to be among the best in the world. The life expectancy in the country is 84 years for women and 79 years for men. The Swiss also fare extremely well on various other parameters of health and wellness such as infant mortality, quality of health services and overall physical and mental health. About 10 percent of the country’s GDP goes toward medical expenditure and this translates into comprehensive state-of-the-art healthcare facilities. The patient to doctor ratio in the country is also among the lowest in the world. It is mandatory for new settlers to obtain healthcare insurance within the first three months of residence.
Health and happiness
The United Nations’ 2013 World Happiness Report ranked Switzerland as the third happiest country in the world. It also fared extremely well in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s Better Life Index 2013, which evaluated the levels of well being in various countries. Many reasons contribute to a sense of happiness and wellbeing, including a higher quality of life. In Switzerland, the average household disposable income is 30,060 USD, which is higher than the OECD’s average. Also, 79% of individuals in the 15 to 64 age group have paid jobs and the working hours amount to just 1632 hours a year. The OECD index included an evaluation of just how satisfied people were with their lives, and 82% of Switzerland’s residents maintained that they enjoyed more positive experiences in an average day than negative ones. The country is also known to have the eighth lowest depression rates globally and this may be evident in the quality of the workforce and strength of the economy.
The education system in Switzerland is considered to be among the best internationally. There are both public and international schools in the country, along with quite a few universities and higher education institutions. The second highest number of foreign students pursuing higher education in the world can be found here. About 86% of people within the ages of 24 and 64 have the equivalent of a high school degree and the literacy rates in math and science are above average. Majority of the schools in Switzerland have Internet access.
Open to foreigners
More than 20% of Switzerland’s population consists of foreign workers, both temporary and resident. The multi-national character of the country is also reflected in its languages and up to four languages, namely French, German, Italian and Romansh are considered as official languages. English is also spoken by a large number of people and English speakers are often able to find work easily. However, it may make integration into the community easier if you speak and understand the specific language of your canton.
Water, water everywhere
There’s always a river or lake nearby when you’re in Switzerland and great care is taken to keep this resource sparkling clean. There are 18 outdoor bathing areas in Zurich and there are saunas and hamams aplenty in Geneva. In cities like Basel and Bern, the rivers are often populated with paddling tourists and residents alike. Some even use water transport to commute to work everyday. The country also has a long history of using its many thermal springs for wellness and medical purposes and you can visit any of the abundant spas and resorts for a rejuvenating experience. Some of the mineral and thermal spas even provide specialized medical assistance.
A challenge many expats encounter when living in Switzerland is the high cost of living. Both Zurich and Geneva figure among the most expensive cities in the world. As an expat you may find a considerable difference in costs and apart from food and clothing, even parking and dentist visits may carry a higher price.