Zurich City Review


About This Report

Feb 2017

Zurich is among the richest and cleanest places in the world, and is the largest city in Switzerland. The city's impressive levels of household disposable income and labour productivity are a result of its significant focus on the business services sector, which represented 45% of total GVA in 2016. It is one of the most important financial hubs in the world, boasting the third largest insurance market.

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Zurich City Review


Zurich made up 24% of Switzerland's total GDP in 2016 and was the largest contributor to the country's economy. In 2016 gross value added (GVA) per employee was 25% above the rest of the country's average, and also among the highest worldwide thanks to its focus in highly productive industries such as banking, finance and insurance.

Higher labour productivity, coupled with higher labour force participation rate, boost income

Higher labour productivity in tandem with a higher labour force participation rate pulls up disposable income per household in Zurich. In 2016 disposable income per household came to USD127,300 and exceeded the rest of the country average by 27%.

Greater spending on discretionary items

Spending per household (excluding transport and housing) was 22% higher in Zurich in comparison with the rest of the country in 2016. Given the city's higher income level, consumers spend much more on discretionary items such as medical services, clothing, restaurants and hotels. The largest difference in consumer spending was for education, as 46% more expenditure was allocated by Zurich's households than by consumers from other Swiss regions.

Transport is affordable, however accommodation is expensive

In 2016 the combined consumer expenditure on housing and transport per household in Zurich was 13% greater compared to the rest of Switzerland. Transport is generally rather affordable in Zurich due to the presence of public transport, which influences a lower motorisation rate. However, house prices are high in the city, with expenditure on housing exceeding the rest of the country by 19% in 2016.


Understanding Zurich Review structure
Chart 1 Overview
Key facts on Zurich
Summary 1 Key Facts On Zurich 2011, 2016, 2021


Delimitation of the metropolitan region
Chart 2 Map Of Zurich Metropolitan Area
Main business districts


Industrial make-up
Chart 3 Industrial Composition Of Zurich 2016
Chart 4 Labour Productivity: Selected Cities 2016
Recent developments and outlook
Chart 5 Dynamics Of Real GDP In Zurich, Switzerland And Other Cities In Western Europe, 2011-2021
Summary 2 Labour Market Changes In Zurich 2011, 2016


City demographics
Chart 6 Population By Age 2016
Chart 7 Drivers Of Population Growth In Zurich 2011-2016
Household income
Chart 8 Household Distribution By Income In Zurich 2016 And 2021


Structure of household budget
Chart 9 Comparison Of Household Expenditure In Zurich And Switzerland, 2016
Summary 3 Zurich Household Budget Structure By Consumer Expenditure Item, % of total, 2011, 2016, 2021
City lifestyle
A Place Of Tourists' Attention
Switching From Old Devices To Modern Technologies
City affordability
Chart 10 Household Expenditure On Housing: Selected Cities 2016
Chart 11 Household Expenditure On Transport: Selected Cities 2016



Summary 4 GDP Development, 2011, 2016, 2021
Summary 5 GDP By Origin, Current Prices, US$, Million, 2011-2016
Summary 6 Population And Labour Force, 2011-2016
Summary 7 Employed Population By Economic Sector, % of total, 2011-2016
Summary 8 Population By Sex And Broad Age Groups, ‘000, 2011-2016
Summary 9 Population Growth, 2011-2016
Summary 10 Forecast Population Growth
Summary 11 Population By Educational Attainment, 2011-2016
Summary 12 Structure Of Consumer Expenditure By Main Category, 2011-2016
Summary 13 Consumer Expenditure By Main Category, Per Household, Constant (2016) Prices, US$, 2011, 2016, 2021
Summary 14 Households By Income Band, % Of Total, Constant (2016) Prices 2011, 2016, 2021
Summary 15 Households By Income Band, ‘000, Current Prices 2011-2016
Summary 16 Inflation, 2011-2016
Summary 17 Transport Indicators, 2011-2016
Summary 18 Air Pollution, Concentration In Micrograms Per Cubic Metre, 2011-2016
Summary 19 Possession of Consumer Durables, % of Households, 2011, 2016, 2021