New 2015 GfK purchasing power data is now available for Austria and Switzerland. Purchasing power levels vary substantially both between and within these two neighboring countries. The GfK purchasing power study reveals the regional distribution of purchasing power from the level of federal states down to detailed postcodes.
GfK forecasts a 2015 per-capita purchasing power of €37,651 for Switzerland. According to the study, the total purchasing power for Switzerland in 2015 is projected to be €307.9 bil. (including Liechtenstein).
The total 2015 purchasing power for Austria is approximately €187.7 bil. This corresponds to an average of €22,067 available to each Austrian for consumption, rent and living costs.
These figures place Austria and Switzerland ahead of Germany in terms of per-capita purchasing power: The average German can expect a 2015 purchasing power of €21,449. But Germany's total purchasing power – €1,732.4 bil. – far exceeds that of its neighbors. This is not surprising given Germany's approximately 80.8 mil. inhabitants compared to 8.2 mil. in Switzerland and 8.5 mil. in Austria.
Purchasing power measures the available net income of the population, including government subsidies such as unemployment assistance, child benefit and pension contributions. The intent of the study by GfK's Geomarketing solution area is to illuminate the regional differences in buying potential.
Switzerland - Comparison of the cantons
The ranking of Switzerland's top ten cantons remains unchanged from last year. Inhabitants of the country's most affluent canton, Zug, have almost 55% more purchasing power than the Swiss average. Inhabitants of the second- and third-ranked cantons, Schwyz and Nidwalden, exceed the Swiss average by 36 and 22 percent, respectively. Only seven of the 26 cantons have an above-average per-capita purchasing power, which proves that even in affluent Switzerland, there are significant regional differences in purchasing power.
Switzerland: Top 10 cantons in 2015
|rank||canton||inhabitants||per-capita purchasing power in €||per-capita purchasing power index*|
source: GfK Purchasing Power Switzerland 2015; * index per inhabitant; 100 = national average
Together the two most populated cantons, Zürich and Bern, comprise more than 30.9% of Switzerland's total purchasing power.
The gap in purchasing power levels increases as the granularity of the regional level increases: At the level of the 148 Swiss districts, this gap ranges from an index value of 225.4 in the district of Höfe to an index value of 75.9 in the district of Wahlkreis Entlebuch. With €28,567 per person, inhabitants of this latter district have around 24% less purchasing power than the Swiss average, but still €7,000 more than the German per-capita average of €21,449.
Purchasing power is often concentrated in certain regions. Inhabitants of the most affluent district, Höfe, have an average of €84,859 per person, which is 125% more than the Swiss average, while inhabitants of second-ranked Meilen have almost 31% less purchasing power, but still 56% more than the average. Inhabitants of Horgen on Lake Zürich have around one-fifth less purchasing power than inhabitants of Meilen, but still 25% more than the national average.
The much-coveted view of Lake Geneva also draws inhabitants with high purchasing power: Inhabitants of "District de Nyon", "District de Lavaux-Oron" and "Canton de Genève" (ranked eighth through tenth, respectively) have between 14 to 21 percent more purchasing power than the Swiss average. It's important to note that living and accommodation costs are higher in these areas. The purchasing power study does not take into account regional variations in these kinds of costs.
Switzerland: Top 10 districts
|rank||district||inhabitants||per-capita purchasing power in €||per-capita purchasing power index*|
|4||Küssnacht (SZ) district||12,426||54,485||144.7|
|10||Geneva canton||469,433||43,012||114.2 |
source: GfK Purchasing Power Switzerland 2015;
* index per inhabitant; 100 = national average
Lower Austria is the only federal state in Austria with significantly more purchasing power (+4%) than the national average. Vienna is ranked second. Closely behind are the federal states of Vorarlberg, Salzburg and Upper Austria, all of which lie just over the national average in terms of purchasing power. The other federal states have below-average purchasing power.
A consideration of the purchasing power per household yields some interesting insights. Upper Austria leads in this regard with eight percent above the national average. Next is Burgenland with seven percent above the average, followed by Vorarlberg. Vienna has the lowest purchasing power per household at 12% below the national average. This is indicative of a higher number of single-person households in Austria's capital; in households with just a single earner, the average purchasing power per household is correspondingly lower.
2015 purchasing power in Austria's federal states
|rank||federal state||inhabitants||purchasing power index per inhabitant*||purchasing power index per household*|
|1 ||Lower Austria||1,625,485||104.1||108.2|
|5 ||Upper Austria||1,425,422||100.4||104.4|
source: GfK Purchasing Power Austria 2015;
* index per inhabitant/household; 100 = national average
Only two of Austria's ten districts with the highest purchasing power are located outside the federal state of Vienna: Mödling and Eisenstadt. Vienna's dominance of the district rankings is due not just to the genuinely high purchasing power in the capital, but also to its granular division into 23 districts.
The district "Wien 1 – Innere Stadt" has a per-capita purchasing power of €41,115, which is 86% higher than the Austrian average. Second place is occupied by Vienna's thirteenth district, Hietzing, which has around one-fourth less purchasing power. This district has a per-capita purchasing power of approximately €30,136, which is 36.6% above the national average. With €28,617 available per person, inhabitants of third-ranked Mödling in Lower Austria have around 30% more purchasing power than the national average. The city district of Eisenstadt is ranked tenth with a per-capita purchasing power that is 16.2% higher than the national average.
2015 purchasing power for Austria's most populated districts
|district||inhabitants||Purchasing power in bil. €||per-capita purchasing power in €||per-capita purchasing power index*|
|Wien 10., Favoriten||186,45||3.6||19,218||87.1|
|Wien 22., Donaustadt||168,394||3.7||22,015||99.8|
|Wien 21., Floridsdorf||148,947||3.2||21,461||97.3|
source: GfK Purchasing Power Austria 2015; * index per inhabitant; 100 = national average
About the study
GfK Purchasing Power is defined as the sum of the net income of the population according to place of residence. These purchasing power figures take into account income related to self- and non-self-employment as well as capital gains and government subsidies, such as unemployment assistance, child benefit and pension contributions. Expenditures related to living expenses, insurance, rent and associated costs such as utilities (gas and/or electricity), clothing and savings plans have to be covered by this sum. Calculations are carried out on the basis of reported income and earnings, statistics on state taxes and deductions as well as economic forecasts provided by leading economic institutes. GfK published the first purchasing power study in 1937.