Switzerland flags in Bern.
Photograph: Alin Andersen

Switzerland has been named the “world’s best country,” again

Written by
Time Out editors

If you’re living in and loving Switzerland and thinking “This country is just… the best” then you’re not alone.

Switzerland has just been given the rather grand title of ‘best country in the world’ after topping the annual Best Countries list for the second year running. The report (a joint project by news platform U.S. News & World Report, marketing company WPP and a business school from the University of Pennsylvania) analyses 87 countries across 73 factors, surveying over 17,000 people to determine a country’s score, including quality of life, power and entrepreneurship.

It’s the sixth time Switzerland has taken the title, which is no mean feat. Canada took second place, with Sweden, Australia and the U. S. taking third, fourth and fifth, respectively. The UK managed a respectable ninth.

Economic stability (including dodging some of the worst inflation rises that have battered the rest of Europe) and high quality of education were two of the reasons given for Switzerland’s table-topping. The country also scored highly in the ‘entrepreneurship’ category. 

“People love our country without always knowing why,” Jacques Pitteloud, Swiss Ambassador to the U.S., told U.S. News & World Report, explaining that “what people love about us is our reliability and our predictability.”

Interestingly, although Switzerland’s GDP only measured a measly 808 billion US Dollars (a drop in the ocean compared to Canada’s $2.14 trillion, the USA’s $25.5 trillion and various other big-hitting countries, including Germany and the UK), its GDP per capita based on PPP (purchasing power parity – a measurement used to compare spending and economic value between different countries) is a mighty $83,598, annihilating most other countries and essentially suggesting that ‘most’ people in Switzerland have more money to spend.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, extracting some of the survey data revealed that Switzerland also scored highly in the list of countries people would most like to live, gliding into third place behind Canada and New Zealand.

So, if you do live in Switzerland, congratulations. If you don’t, fear not, as you can still sample its best bits on a visit. Speaking of which, we’ve put together some great recommendations on what to do to make the most of Switzerland, useful for both residents and visitors. Extend your summer in gorgeous Lausanne, tick-off some bucket list activities in the Bernese Oberland and do it all sustainably thanks to Switzerland’s green-minded transport network.

And for more great activities and experiences around the country, check our things to do page, full of – you guessed it – brilliant things to do.

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