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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Lausanne: A Nature Lovers’ Haven Where It’s Tricky to Settle In

Lausanne, which ranks 29th out of 49 cities in 2023, presents various opportunities and challenges.

In the Quality of Life Index (19th), the real standout is in the Environment & Climate Subcategory (1st), where this Swiss city takes the lead. Expats especially appreciate the natural environment (2nd) — more than nine in ten (94%) rate it favorably (vs. 84% globally) as well as the air quality (3rd). Despite this, the city lags in Leisure Options (44th), and expats find the culinary variety notably limited, landing Lausanne at the very bottom for this factor (49th). When it comes to Healthcare (42nd), close to half (49%) find the services not affordable (vs. 19% globally).

The Expat Essentials Index (23rd) shows mixed results as well. Two in three expats (67%) find housing unaffordable (vs. 42% globally), and 59% say it’s not easy to find (vs. 31% globally). As a result, the Swiss city lands in 32nd place for Housing. In contrast, the city does rather well for Admin Topics (13th) and Digital Life (11th).

When it comes to Working Abroad (26th), expats express their contentment with their Salary & Job Security (5th) and, for example, feel paid fairly for their work (7th). Also, the state of the economy receives glowing reviews, with an impressive 92% regarding it positively (vs. 62% globally). All in all, 64% of expats in Lausanne express job satisfaction, mirroring the global average (64%).

The Personal Finance Index (35th) tells a different story, primarily due to the general cost of living, which close to two in three respondents (65%) say is too high (vs. just 35% globally). Still, expats’ incomes seem to enable them to lead a comfortable life (23rd).

Lausanne ranks in the bottom 10 of the Ease of Settling In Index (41st), though, revealing that despite its other appealing aspects, settling in is not easy. Although more than half of the expats (55%) say the locals are friendly, this is still less than the global average of 67%. Finding Friends can be challenging, too, with Lausanne only ranking 45th for this subcategory. And only about half (49%) feel welcome in the city (vs. 67% globally), with a mere 57% feeling truly at home in Lausanne (vs. 62% globally).

Further Reading