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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Geneva: A Balance between Challenges & Rewards

Expats find a good quality of life and a great economy, but there are also drawbacks to life in Geneva.

Geneva comes 30th out of 49 in the Expat City Ranking 2023 and offers an intriguing mix of strengths and challenges. It secures 18th place in the Quality of Life Index, reflecting expats’ high satisfaction with the city’s Environment & Climate (6th) as well as the Safety & Security (3rd). An overwhelming 96% enjoy the natural environment around Geneva (vs. 84% globally). And more than nine in ten expats (94%) praise the political stability (vs. 63% globally).

In the Working Abroad Index (17th), Geneva shines in terms of Salary & Job Security (4th). Over nine in ten expats (92%) express satisfaction with the state of the economy (vs. 62% globally). And when it comes to finding purpose in their work, expats rank the city in the top 5 (4th).

Still, Geneva encounters mixed results in the Ease of Settling In Index (38th), earning only a low, mediocre ranking. Interestingly, 56% of expats find that their friends and acquaintances in the city are predominantly other expats (vs. 33% globally), suggesting that connecting with the local population is a challenge. In fact, nearly half (48%) feel that making local friends isn’t easy (vs. 36% globally).

Geneva’s result in the Personal Finance Index (38th) is also nothing to write home about. Living costs (43rd) are a considerable challenge for expats, though incomes at least seem to match, so expats can afford a comfortable life (20th).

In the Expat Essentials Index (30th), Housing (44th) is a significant concern, with 61% of expats finding it challenging to find — a share nearly double the global average of 31%. And over three in four (79%) believe accommodation is not affordable (vs. 42% globally).

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