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Europe's Highest Salaries

There are many different reasons people decide to move to a foreign country. I am not talking about refugees of any kind, since they usually do not have a choice to leave their homes. I am talking about people who are actually living quite comfortably but then decide to pack up their things and move to another corner of the world.

Some move for ideological reasons, some for love, some for adventure, some simply for a change in their daily routine, and some - obviously - move for a job. Actually, I believe that there is a large percentage of American and European expats whose relocation is job related. I do not have a statistic on that though.

When considering a move abroad one should definitely take the local job market and salary situation into account. This is where Switzerland is at its best: very low unemployment rate (under 5%) and high salaries. In Europe only Denmark features higher average annual salaries than Switzerland.

Europe's Highest Salaries (2015)

  1. Switzerland: 69,870.20 EUR
  2. Norway: 44,161.07 EUR
  3. Luxembourg: 38,630.79
  4. United Kingdom: 37,995.26 EUR
  5. Iceland: 36,065.51 EUR
  6. Denmark: 34,878.05 EUR
  7. Netherlands: 34,825.82 EUR
  8. Sweden: 33,919.60 EUR
  9. Finland: 29,980.90 EUR
  10. Austria: 28,524.14 EUR
Compared to the average annual salary in the US which is currently somewhat over 34'000 EUR, many European countries must be very attractive as working locations. However, cost of living in Europe and especially in Switzerland is also much higher than in the US. Zurich, for example, was voted world's most expensive city more than once in recent years!

Money - Benjamin Klack  /

Annual net earnings, (EUR)
Explanation on date used by eurostat



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