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May 8th, 2019
GfK releases 2019 purchasing power for Austria and Switzer-land

Regionalized GfK purchasing power data for Austria, Germany and Switzerland

Bruchsal, Germany, May 8, 2019 – According to GfK’s latest study, the Swiss have a 2019 per capita purchasing power of €42,067, significantly outpacing the Austrians (€24,067) and Germans (€23,779). But there are substantial regional differences within and between these countries with respect to available net income.

According to GfK’s prognosis, Switzerland’s almost 8.5 million inhabitants have a total purchasing power of €356.9 billion in 2019 (excludes Liechtenstein). Austria’s approximately 8.8 million inhabitants have around €212.3 billion at their disposal in 2019, while Germany’s approximately 82.8 million inhabitants have €1,968.7 billion.

Purchasing power is a measure of the nominal net income available to the population, including government subsidies such as unemployment assistance, child benefit and pension contributions. The population uses these funds for consumer purchases as well as expenditures related to accommodation, recreation and savings. GfK’s study reveals the regional distribution of purchasing power both within and between the countries under review.



With a per capita purchasing power of €60,935, Zug leads the way among Switzerland’s cantons. Inhabitants of this canton have almost 45 percent more purchasing power than the national average. As in the previous year, the cantons of Schwyz and Nidwalden take second and third place, with 33 and 25 percent more purchasing power respectively compared to Switzerland’s average. But due to the relatively small number of inhabitants, the combined purchasing power of these three cantons amounts only to a little more than five percent of Switzerland’s total purchasing power. Fourth place goes to Zürich, Switzerland’s most populous canton: With around 1.5 million inhabitants, this canton comprises almost 18 percent of Switzerland’s population and commands more than 20 percent of the nation’s total purchasing power.

Top 10 cantons in Switzerland in 2019

rankingcantoninhabitantspurchasing power in mil. €per capita purchasing power in €per capita purchasing power index*

source: GfK Purchasing Power Switzerland 2019                                                               *index per inhabitant; 100 = national average

There have been a couple of changes to the rankings compared to last year. The canton of Obwalden climbs to fifth place after narrowly missing the top ten in the previous year’s rankings. By contrast, Geneva falls three spots to eighth place, while Aargau drops from eighth to ninth place and Vaud falls out of the top-ten rankings entirely.

With more than €40 bil. at their disposal, inhabitants of the second most populous canton of Bern have around eleven percent of Switzerland’s total purchasing power. Even so, the canton is ranked only sixteenth among the country’s 26 cantons when it comes to per capita purchasing power.

A more granular evaluation of Switzerland’s purchasing power distribution at the district level reveals that all of the top-ten districts are located in the country’s four cantons with the highest purchasing power. In addition to the cantons of Zug and Nidwalden, which are not further subdivided into districts, four districts in the cantons of Schwyz and Zürich are in the top ten. The Swiss district of Höfe is the forerunner by a long way with an average per capita purchasing power of €84,919, which is more than double the national average. The Zürich district of Meilen takes second place with almost 1.5 times the national average and around €62,636 per inhabitant.


Top 10 districts in Switzerland in 2019

rankingdistrictinhabitantsper capita purchas-ing power in €per capita purchasing power index*
1Höfe district28,64284,919201.9
2Meilen district103,25062,636148.9
3Zug canton125,42160,935144.9
4Küssnacht (SZ) district12,84558,288138.6
5March district43,10452,775125.5
6Nidwalden canton42,96952,620125.1
7Horgen district124,11052,530124.9
8Affoltern district53,77148,756115.9
9Uster district130,64348,546115.4
10Einsiedeln district15,55048,183114.5

source: GfK Purchasing Power Switzerland 2019                                                           *index per inhabitant; 100 = national average

Another change to last year’s top-ten rankings is the switching of places between the canton of Nidwalden and the district of March. The districts of Affoltern and Uster are newcomers to the top-ten rankings. Both districts are located in Zürich and are ranked eighth and ninth respectively. By contrast, the districts of Nyon and Lavaux-Oron fall out of the top-ten 2019 rankings along with the canton of Vaud in which they are located.


Per capita purchasing power is distributed fairly homogenously among Austria’s federal states. As in the previous year, Lower Austria takes first place with €25,186 per person, which is almost five percent above the Austrian average. Lower Austria is closely followed by Vorarlberg with a per capita purchasing power of €25,134. Last place among the federal states is the capital city of Vienna, which loses three places compared to the 2018 rankings with a per capita purchasing power of €23,246. This is more than three percent below the national average.

Ranking of Austria’s federal states in 2019

rankingfederal stateinhabitantsper capita purchasing power in €per capita purchasing power index*
1Lower Austria1,670,66825,186104.7
5Upper Austria1,473,57624,257100.8

source: GfK Purchasing Power Austria 2019                                                                *index per inhabitant; 100 = national average

Five of Austria’s nine federal states have above-average purchasing power, while four federal states have somewhat below-average purchasing power. Upper Austria and Styria are closest to the Austrian average with €24,257 and €23,623 per person respectively. This constitutes a mere 0.8 percent deviation from the national average. Upper Austria and Burgenland swap positions to take fifth and fourth place respectively; Styria, Carinthia and Tyrol each climb one spot higher in the rankings as a result of tenth-ranked Vienna.

While the distribution of Austria’s purchasing power is fairly homogenous at the federal state level, an evaluation of the country’s districts yields a somewhat different portrait. While six capital city districts are ranked in the top ten, there are also seven Vienna districts at the bottom of the rankings. This demonstrates the heterogeneous distribution of purchasing power in Vienna’s districts. The district of Vienna 1 (Innere Stadt) leads the rankings with a per capita purchasing power of €39,758, which is more than 65 percent above the Austrian average. Second place goes to the district of Vienna 13 (Hietzing), whose inhabitants have a per capita purchasing power of €31,094, which is almost 30 percent more than the national average.

Top 10 districts in Austria in 2019

rankingdistrictinhabitantsper capita purchasing power in €per capita purchasing power index*
1Vienna 1, Innere Stadt16,45039,758165.2
2Vienna 13, Hietzing54,26531,094129.2
4Vienna 19, Döbling72,65028,711119.3
6Eisenstadt (city)14,47627,509114.3
8Vienna 18, Währing51,64727,110112.6
9Vienna 4, Wieden33,31926,870111.6
10Vienna 23, Liesing103,86926,804111.4

source: GfK Purchasing Power Austria 2019                                                                *index per inhabitant; 100 = national average

Vienna’s surroundings also have above-average per capita purchasing power. This is most apparent in the districts of Mödling, Korneuburg, Eisenstadt (city) and Tulln, all of which place in the top ten. In these districts, the average per capita purchasing power ranges from €27,449 to €30,653, which is up to 27 percent higher than the national average.


About the study
GfK Purchasing Power refers to 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 not been deducted from the cited values. Calculations are carried out on the basis of reported income and earnings, statistics on state taxes and deductions as well as forecasts provided by economic institutes.

Additional information on GfK’s regional market data can be found here.

Print-quality illustrations can be found here.


About GfK

GfK connects data and science. Innovative research solutions provide answers for key business questions around consumers, markets, brands and media – now and in the future. As a research and analytics partner, GfK promises its clients all over the world “Growth from Knowledge”.

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