Zürich City Performance, Brand Strength and Reputation

Zürich (or Zurich) is Switzerland’s most populous city and possibly also the most well-known Swiss city. Zürich is close to the eponymous lake and is situated in the (Swiss) German-speaking part of the country. The city has the busiest and largest airport in Switzerland and has the busiest train station in the country: the Zürich Hauptbahnhof.

Zürich is considered a financial centre but comes with much more strengths (and weaknesses). How does this city do in terms of economic performance, livability, city brand strength and reputation? How attractive is it for international talent and digital nomads?

Let’s explore deeper how Zurich positions itself on the world stage, drawing insights from data provided by TPBO partners and other reputable institutions.

Let’s take a closer look at:

  • Zurich’s competitiveness and financial performance
  • Zurich’s brand strength and global attractiveness
  • Livability: Zurich’s appeal for digital nomads and locals

Zurich’s competitiveness and financial performance

How attractive is Zurich as a place to work and do business? 

The Global Financial Centres Index 34 ranks Zurich 18th, jumping two positions from the previous ranking. It is currently sitting between Boston (17th) and Amsterdam (19th). It ranks the following in areas of competitiveness: 11th in Business Environment, 12th in Human Capital, and 12th in Reputational & General. It also performs very well in the Fintech (5th), Investment Management (12th), and Government & Regulatory (14th) industry sectors. Zurich holds the 6th position in the Western European region.

According to 2thinknow’s Innovation Cities Index 2022-2023 Zurich ranks 54th, a jump of 16 positions from the previous ranking. The city now sits in between Istanbul (53rd) and Phoenix (55th).

Zurich’s brand strength and global attractiveness 

Which subfactors hurt and help the brand of Zurich

Resonance’s 2023 World’s Best Cities Report ranks Zurich 33rd, scoring the following in Place Power Highlights: 8th in Labour Force Participation and 11th for Global 500 companies. It currently sits just behind Lisbon (32nd), and above Seattle (34th).

Kearney’s 2023 Global Cities Report ranks Zurich 18th, a jump of one position from the previous ranking, sitting right behind New York City (17th), and above Phoenix (19th). Also, the city ranks 32nd in the Global Cities Outlook, a jump of one position since the previous ranking.

The comprehensive ranking of the Global Power City Index ranks Zurich 19th. In terms of function-specific rankings, the city ranks 5th in terms of Economy, 24th in R&D, 45th in Cultural Interaction, 32nd in Livability, 8th in Environment, and 18th in Accessibility. Zurich ranks 8th for Urban Greenery. Lastly, Zurich positioned 12th in the Highly-skilled Workers, 5th in the Corporate Executive, 18th in the Resident, and 36th in the Tourism categories.

According to Brand Finance’s City Index 2023, Zurich ranks 17th in the global ranking with a score of 72/100, sitting in between Melbourne (16th) and Berlin (18th). Zurich positions first in the world to work locally, work remotely, invest, and retire. However, the city should invest in increasing familiarity to reach its full potential.

Livability: Zurich’s appeal for digital nomads and locals

Which aspects of Zurich’s urban living make it an attractive place to live, work and study?

The Mercer Quality of Living City Ranking places Zurich 2nd, sitting right behind Vienna (1st).  The Mercer Cost of Living Ranking ranks Zurich 3rd sitting just behind Singapore (27th), and Hong Kong (1st). The cost living survey reports that factors such as currency fluctuations, cost inflation for goods and services, and instability of accommodation prices are key to determine the cost of expat packages for employees on international assignment.

According to the Best Urban Cities for Digital Nomads ranking by Spot a Home, Zurich ranks 45th out of 56 global cities. It currently sits between Osaka (44th) and Copenhagen (46th).

The Arcadis Sustainability City Index 2022 ranks Zurich 11th overall, sitting in between Amsterdam (10th) and Rotterdam (12th). Zurich’s pillar rankings are the following: Planet 9th, People 2nd, and Profit 51st. Its strengths are: transport, broadband, crime, education, and health; while, work-life balance could be improved.

Lastly, Zurich is home to a couple of the best universities in the world. According to The Times Higher Education ranking, ETH Zurich ranks 11th, and the University of Zurich 80th. Whereas, the QS World University ranking ranks ETH Zurich 7th, and the University of Zurich 91st.

Last updated in January 2024. More city benchmarking insights, profiles and reports in our City Observatory.

Enjoyed our summary of global rankings and indices on Zürich’s economic performance, its sustainability, attractiveness for digital nomads, brand strength and reputation? Thanks for sharing!


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