Switzerland vs Austria: Which nation is healthier to reside in?

Switzerland and neighbouring Austria have lots in frequent, however there are Slot lots of variations as effectively. How will you determine which nation is healthier suited to you? Our comparability gives some solutions.

Other than Liechtenstein, which shares the identical language (Swiss German), forex (Swiss franc) and a footbridge border with Switzerland, Austria is one other nation that may very well be described as essentially the most much like Switzerland in lots of respects.

For example, the 2 nations’ populations are almost the identical: about 8.9 million in each Switzerland and Austria, although the latter is larger in measurement:  83.871 sq. kilometres, which is greater than twice the floor of Switzerland (41.277 sq. kilometres).

Additionally, each nations are impartial, and regardless of having Armed Forces, don’t take part in conflicts or navy alliances akin to NATO.

Final however definitely not least, there’s the matter of geography: each nations are mountainous, with the Alps masking about 60 p.c of every nation.

This implies they each have a well-developed ski tradition and Alpine folklore generally.

Nonetheless, talking of folklore — although many vacationers affiliate the lederhosen with Switzerland, these quick or knee-length leather-based breeches usually tend to be present in Austria.

And now for the variations:

The obvious one which instantly jumps to thoughts is that whereas Austria belongs to the EU, Switzerland doesn’t. It’s, as an alternative a part of the EFTA (European Free Commerce Affiliation), together with Liechtenstein, Iceland, and Norway.

This implies totally different currencies (the Swiss franc in Switzerland and the euro in Austria) however residents of each nations have entry to one another’s labour markets, as is the case with all EU / EFTA nations.

Apart from political affiliations, what’s totally different concerning the two nations and, above all, which one could be higher to reside in?

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Let’s have a look at the financial system first.

On the finish of January 2023, Switzerland’s inflation stood at 3.3 p.c, whereas Austria’s was 11 p.c – a file excessive, pushed primarily by rising vitality and gasoline costs worldwide.

What precisely does it imply?

Whereas Austria has been traditionally inexpensive to reside in than Switzerland, its a lot greater inflation degree means the present value of residing disparity just isn’t as nice.

In accordance with Numbeo, client costs are 69 p.c greater in Switzerland than in Austria.

Alternatively, the buying energy is 25 p.c greater in Switzerland.

Why does a costlier nation have the next buying energy than a less expensive one?

It is because wages are greater than twice as excessive in Switzerland than in Austria: The common month-to-month web wage is 5,484.54 euros (5’455.61 francs) in Switzerland, versus 2,429.38 euros (2’415.84 francs) in Austria.

Public transportation

Regardless of being smaller (in floor) than Austria, Switzerland has extra railway tracks per kilometre: 5,690 km in complete versus 5,800 km in Austria, which implies that the Swiss practice community is denser.

By way of timeliness, each nationwide railway programs have over a 95-percent punctuality fee.

By way of public transport, the Austrian capital Vienna particularly is famend for its gives, and different bigger cities in Austria even have low cost and in depth strains of trams, metros and buses. Regardless of not being as dense as in Switzerland, the nation’s rail system expands to all main cities, hubs, and touristic locations – and a yearly ticket, the Klimaticket makes travelling in all public transport limitless for €3 a day.

a tram in the city center of Vienna, public transport Austria

One of many well-known Viennese trams. (Photograph by Árpád Czapp on Unsplash)


The 2 programs are totally different.

Austria’s scheme like a lot of Europe’s, is tax based mostly, with the federal government controlling funding, medical insurance, and well being suppliers.

Beneath Austria’s healthcare, sure parts of salaries are robotically deducted to fund the scheme. Nonetheless, healthcare is freed from cost for low-income individuals or those that who’re disabled, learning, or retired.

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In Switzerland, everybody should have a primary medical insurance protection and buy it from one among dozens of personal carriers.

It doesn’t come low cost — premiums are based mostly on the canton of residence and age, costing 300 to 400 francs a month on common — however it’s fairly complete; it consists of protection for sickness, medicines, assessments, maternity, bodily remedy, preventive care, and plenty of different therapies.

Which of the 2 nations gives higher entry to healthcare?

In accordance with The Euro Well being Shopper Index (EHCI), which in contrast healthcare programs based mostly on totally different knowledge, akin to sufferers rights, accessibility and the vary of providers, Switzerland got here on high, with Austria scoring a lot decrease.

Research present that Switzerland additionally has one of many world’s shortest ready occasions for physician’s appointments and medical procedures.

So whereas the Swiss system is costlier general, it additionally appears to be extra environment friendly.

Language and integration

Whereas Austrian German and Swiss-German aren’t precisely the identical, it may be stated that they’re distant cousins, with the previous being nearer to their frequent ancestor, Excessive German or Hochdeutch.

For those who be taught German in your house nation previous to shifting to Austria, it is possible for you to to search out jobs and reside comfortably wherever within the nation. Nonetheless, talking Excessive German in Switzerland may not provide the similar advantages, as many immigrants (and even native Austrians and Germans) can have hassle understanding and talking Swiss German.

Moreover, Switzerland has 4 official languages – which doesn’t imply everybody speaks all of them. Relying on the area of the nation the place you progress to, you may need to be taught an entire totally different language: Swiss German, French, Italian or Romansh.

Whereas talking a nationwide language undoubtedly helps with integration, one other distinction between the nations is the sizes of cities. Regardless of having comparable inhabitants numbers, Austria has a pair main cities with greater than 200,000 individuals, together with the capital Vienna with its 1.7 million inhabitants, but additionally Graz with 300,000 and Linz with simply over 190,000.

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In bigger cities, some say it’s simpler to fulfill mates, combine, discover jobs in numerous fields and adapt with out having to right away observe the native Dorf (village) tradition.

As compared, Switzerland’s most populous metropolis is Zürich, with simply round 380,000 individuals.

The place is it higher to retire?

We already established that, nature-wise, each nations supply comparably stunning surroundings, however which is healthier for pensioners?

In Switzerland, the common pay for married {couples} is 3,675 Swiss francs monthly from the primary pillar pension, not together with extra advantages.

In Austria, it’s about 1,294.56 euros (1,287.41 francs) for {couples} on primary pension payouts.

Regardless of disparities in residing prices (as talked about above), US Information and World Report rated Switzerland within the second place on the earth (and first in Europe) when it comes to snug retirement.

Austria is in fifteenth place.

Karlskirche, or St. Charles Church, in Vienna

High quality of life

One of many predominant indexes for high quality of life, the Economist Intelligence Unit’s, International Liveability Index, constantly places Austria’s capital Vienna within the first place worldwide. In 2022, Switzerland’s Zurich got here in third.

The rating evaluates a number of features contemplating stability (Vienna acquired 100/100), Healthcare (once more, 100/100), Tradition & Setting, Schooling (100/100) and Infrastructure (100/100), making the Austrian capital the “world’s most habitable metropolis”.

“Stability and good infrastructure are the town’s predominant charms for its inhabitants, supported by good healthcare and loads of alternatives for tradition and leisure,” the EIU rating wrote about Vienna.

What’s the conclusion?

The choice is in the end as much as you.

Whereas now we have in contrast some primary classes, extra detailed analysis is required, in accordance with your personal private standards and targets, to determine which nation fits you greatest.

Whichever nation you determine to make your property, you’re certain to have an excellent expertise!