10 Reasons Why Switzerland is Better Than America

10 Reasons Why Switzerland is Better Than America

Welcome to a bird’s eye view of Switzerland, a country that stands out as a place of safety, prosperity, and unparalleled quality of life.

So much so, that the country of only 8.7 million people has around 2 million foreigners call it their home. Of that, around 10% are Americans.

In comparison to America, Switzerland often flies under the radar, but it has a lot to offer.

From its world-renowned chocolates and precision-engineered watches to its stable economy and exceptional living standards, Switzerland quietly outshines the glitz and glamor of the United States (sorry, I am a little biased here).

Buckle up as we delve into why this beautiful Alpine country holds the upper hand over its transatlantic counterpart.

Let’s start with the obvious here…

Why is Switzerland better than America

1. Switzerland Has a Higher Standard of Living Than The U.S.

Safety and quality of living are invariably a top priority, and Switzerland stands head and shoulders above the United States in this aspect.

Whether it’s low crime rates, effective law enforcement, or the sense of security you feel walking home late at night, Switzerland consistently ranks as one of the safest countries in the world.

A testament to the high quality of life its inhabitants enjoy, this sense of safety extends to all areas of life – whether it’s peace of mind concerning your personal belongings or confidence in the stability of the country’s political system.

Indeed, Switzerland’s commitment to safety and security is a shining example of the quality of life enjoyed by residents.

Another aspect contributing to a high standard of living is holidays, annual holidays.

Now, I’m not just talking about a few weeks of vacation, but the right to take days off when needed and enjoy—without guilt or a sense of obligation—the free time and getting paid for it!

Let’s take a look at yearly holidays for workers. See, typical American employees typically get only 10 days per year, whereas, in Switzerland, workers enjoy an incredible 4 weeks off fully paid each year!

Yes, you heard me correctly: 4 weeks of fully paid leave, at a minimum, talk about a work-life balance! I still think that it’s crazy that the U.S. government has never done something about this.

Now, let’s compare economies.

Swiss economy compared to the United States.

2. Swiss & U.S. Economy Compared

Switzerland has a strong economy, and it is consistently ranked as one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Whilst the U.S. runs a huge budget deficit, the conservative Swiss run the country with a small budget surplus.

The country’s currency, the Swiss Franc, is also a reliable asset due to its stability relative to other currencies. This is due to its backer, the Swiss National Bank.

The Swiss National Bank, or SNB for short, is known for maintaining stability by having a diversified portfolio of gold, bonds, and other financial assets.

A great comparison is GDP per capita, or GDP divided by the population size.

The latest stats on this are (2022) USA $62866.71USD and Switzerland 92,371.45USD. You can see here that Switzerland is much more powerful when compared like this, AKA Quality over quantity.

Adding to the above is the export of Swiss products; the country is famous for its high-quality of products—from cars and watches to chocolates and cheeses.

It’s no surprise that these are highly sought-after across the globe, as Swiss standards of excellence ensure only the best get through their rigorous tests.

Sure, “Made in Italy” might be good when you buy clothes, but “Made in Switzerland” or “Swiss Made” is what you want when you’re buying a Rolex or Audemars Piguet luxury watch.

This level of quality can be attributed to Switzerland’s deep commitment to craftsmanship and skills that have been perfected. Rolex is now over 100 years old!

Switzerland has higher salaries than the U.S.

3. Switzerland Has Far Higher Salaries Than The U.S

Switzerland’s economy is renowned for its stability and prosperity, and when it comes to salaries, the Swiss are on top again.

Despite the higher cost of living, take-home salaries in Switzerland are among the highest in the world.

I don’t know about you, but I’d take a higher salary and a higher cost of living any day!

Now, let’s compare both the United States and Swiss average salaries head to head.

  • The average annual salary in the United States is $59,428USD or 52,295CHF.
  • The average annual salary in Switzerland is $90,887USD or 79,962CHF.

Bear in mind that the above are averages, and generally, as an expat, you will be earning more.

Well, this comes down to the sectors that expats generally work in, including banking, investment banking, private equity, and pharmaceuticals.

So, how else is Switzerland better than America?

Taxes, taxes, taxes, well, lower taxes, of course.

4. Switzerland Has Lower Taxes The U.S.

Switzerland’s tax structure is another factor that makes it such a desirable place to reside.

Let’s have a look at things from both a personal and a corporate level.

Switzerland and U.S. Personal Taxes Compared

The country’s federal tax rate is quite low compared to global standards, and income tax is levied at federal, cantonal (state), and municipal levels, allowing for a balanced distribution of taxes.

The average combined tax rate, depending on the canton, is between 20% and 40%, as you can see in the below picture.

So, it can make a huge difference where you live. ZG or Zug has a personal tax rate of only 22.06%, whereas Geneva sits at double that amount with a top tax rate of 44.74%.

A huge difference.

If we compare to the top rate in the U.S. of 37%, Switzerland still comes out on top here; just choose where you live very carefully!

Switzerland has lower income tax rates than America.

Credit: KPMG Switzerland

Now, let’s look at corporate tax rates, and you’ll see why so many international firms have called Switzerland their home.

Switzerland and U.S. Corporate Taxes Compared

Switzerland is known for its low taxes, and that’s why many multinationals choose to set up their headquarters here.

This comes down to the fact that Switzerland has a very business-friendly tax system.

Plus, corporations aren’t taxed at the federal level; they’re only charged at the cantonal level, taking into account the specific canton’s tax rates.

In the U.S., there is a federal tax for corporations of 21%, plus the is also a varied corporate income tax to be paid. Now, this varies; some states charge it others don’t.

So, corporate taxes in the U.S. will vary from 21-30.1% depending on where you are located.

In Switzerland, it also depends on where you are located (what state or canton).

Corporate tax rates or each state of Switzerland.

Credit: KPMG Switzerland

For example, ZG or ZG has the lowest corporate tax rate in the country at only 11.8%, which would make sense that Glencore, one of the world’s largest commodity trading companies, is based the.

Nice choice of home, Glencore.

Ok, enough of tax talk; it’s boring. Scroll down, and let’s dive into the awesome location of this little country.

Switzerland is located in central Europe, landlocked by France, Germany And Italy.

5. Switzerland, Surrounded by Italy, France & Germany

I might be biased here, but look where Switzerland is actually positioned!

Surrounded by Germany, France, and Italy, with an open border policy to all European countries, Switzerland is a hub for international business and finance.

It’s also incredibly easy to travel to the rest of Europe, with cheap budget airlines operating domestic flights and regular trains traveling to and from the country from every direction.

This central European location makes Switzerland an attractive place to live and work. With access to other countries so easy, moving around is convenient and efficient – something that Americans just don’t have.

Switzerland compared to U.S. states.

6. How Big is Switzerland Compared to The U.S.?

Despite its relatively small size, Switzerland packs a punch with its geographical offerings. Spanning just over 15,950 sq miles or 41,290 square kilometers (smaller than the state of Maryland!)

Actually, to give you further context, Switzerland is only bigger than 9 individual U.S states.

Let’s compare

Switzerland 15,950 square miles
Maryland 9,707 square miles
Vermont 9,216 square miles
New Hampshire 8,952 square miles
Massachusetts 7,800 square miles
New Jersey 7,354 square miles
Hawaii 6,422 square miles
Connecticut 4,842 square miles
Delaware 1,948 square miles
Rhode Island 1,033 square miles

Looking from another angle, you could fit nearly 16 Switzerland in the state of Texas and 10 Switzerland in the state of California!

This compact country boasts stunning landscapes, including the towering Alps, serene lakes, and charming cities, all within easy reach.

It’s not uncommon to have breakfast in a bustling city, lunch in a picturesque mountain village, and dinner by a tranquil lake — all in the same day!

Look, there are no beaches, but who needs beaches when you have endless mountains, lakes, and rivers to explore!?

In contrast to the vast expanses of the United States, the manageable size of Switzerland reduces travel times, making daily commuting less of a hassle and weekend getaways more feasible.

It’s a country where convenience meets natural beauty — a winning combination that greatly enhances the quality of life for its residents.

Healthcare in Switzerland.

7. Switzerland’s Healthcare System is One of The World’s Best

Switzerland is renowned for its outstanding healthcare system, which is among the best in the world.

In fact, its’ healthcare system was ranked 1 out of 35 European countries.

While the American healthcare system is often criticized for being expensive and inaccessible to many, healthcare in Switzerland is universal.

Basically, every resident can access the healthcare system as long as they have the minimum health insurance coverage.

The sad thing is that as a percentage of GDP, Switzerland spends 11.8% of it on healthcare, whilst the U.S. spends 17.8% of GDP, yet the Swiss system is better in so many ways.

You’ve got to question why there is such a difference in healthcare spend? Could it be because the citizens in Switzerland exercise more, enjoy nature, and generally eat healthier foods? Is it actually the lifestyle of the citizens that equates to the health of the population, I think so.

So, what about education?

Switzerland has a world class schooling system.

8. Switzerland Has a Superior Education System

Sure, America has an abundance of top universities, but Switzerland’s commitment to quality education starts from a very young age.

Like the U.S., the public school system in Switzerland is free, but the country offers a large array of the world’s best private schools, too.

Additionally, the Swiss education system promotes multilingualism, with students learning several languages during their schooling, including English, which provides them with a competitive edge in an increasingly globalized world.

It’s common to hear someone from Switzerland, speak English, German, French & Italian! In fact, Switzerland has 4 official languages; you can read about them in my article: What Languages Do They Speak in Switzerland?

When we talk universities, there’s no doubt that the U.S. has some of the world’s best, but for a small country, Switzerland packing some serious punch.

And let’s not forget the country’s renowned universities, like ETH Zurich, which ranks 7th in the world and beats the likes of the University of California, Berkeley, Cornell, and Caltech!

Now, let’s talk food; this is an easy win.

Food in Switzerland influenced by French, Italian and German cuisine.

9. Swiss Cuisine, Influenced by French, German & Italian

What a delight Swiss cuisine is, with its unique fusion of German, French, and Italian culinary influences!

Each region in Switzerland has a distinct food culture reflecting its neighboring country’s flavors, creating an exciting and diverse food landscape.

From the German influence, Switzerland has hearty and comfort dishes like Rösti (my fave), a crispy shredded potato pancake often served as a side dish.

Then there’s the French touch, evident in the widely adored cheese fondue, a traditional Swiss dish. It’s a rich, melted cheese dish served in a communal pot over a portable stove, where diners can dip bread into the cheese using long-stemmed forks.

There is nothing better than finishing a day of skin and then enjoying fondue with friends, It’s not just a meal, it’s a social event!

Take a culinary trip south, and you’ll encounter the Italian influence in the Swiss-Italian region of Ticino. Here, you’ll find dishes like risotto and polenta, made with the same love and passion you’d find in the kitchens of Italy.

Switzerland has truly embraced the culinary styles of its neighbors, adding its unique twist to create dishes that are uniquely Swiss and incredibly delicious.

It’s a testament to the country’s diversity and its ability to blend tradition and innovation in every aspect, including cuisine.

Be prepared to eat some incredible meals on your next Swiss holiday!

Lastly, the culture.

Swiss culture blends in European surrounding countries.

10. Switzerland’s Culture is Second to None

Switzerland’s cultural landscape is as diverse as its culinary one, with influences from France, Germany, and Italy shaping its traditions, customs, and languages. This cultural mosaic is what gives Switzerland its unique charm and identity.

In the realm of languages, Switzerland boasts four national languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansh.

German is the most widely spoken, used by about 63% of the population, particularly in the northern and central parts of the country, including Zurich and Lucerne. French, spoken by about 23% of the Swiss people in Geneva and predominant in the western region, known as Romandy.

The southern canton of Ticino is where Italian, spoken by 8.1% of the population, reigns supreme. Meanwhile, Romansh, a language descended from ancient Latin, is spoken by a small percentage of people in the southeastern canton of Grisons.

This linguistic diversity is a testament to Switzerland’s rich cultural tapestry. It enhances the country’s cosmopolitan character and underscores its historical ties to its neighboring countries.

The ethos of unity in diversity is the essence of Swiss culture, where multiple influences harmoniously coexist, contributing to the country’s high quality of life.

The Final Say

In closing, Switzerland shines as a beacon of balance, where economic prosperity, environmental sustainability, and an elevated quality of life intertwine.

The country’s robust economy, underscored by the production of high-quality goods, parallels its commitment to the health and well-being of its citizens.

By comparison, while America certainly has its strengths, it struggles with significant challenges, particularly in terms of a failing healthcare system, high crime rates, and bulging government debt.

The Swiss model, with its blend of economic productivity, environmental responsibility, and focus on life quality, presents an inspiring paradigm that other nations could learn from.

This comparison isn’t about undermining America’s accomplishments, but rather celebrating Switzerland’s commendable approach to nation-building and societal welfare.

Ultimately, it’s about what we can learn from each other in our ongoing quest to create better, safer, and healthier societies.

Now, go and eat some chocolate, Swiss chocolate, of course!