Switzerland excels at attracting talent, but can do better

The high cost of living, especially accommodation, was a deterrent but not enough to cost Switzerland the top spot. Keystone / Salvatore Di Nolfi

For the sixth consecutive year, Switzerland clinched the top spot in the annual global ranking of the Lausanne-based IMD business school.

This content was published on November 18, 2019

The 2019 editionExternal link of the IMD World Talent Ranking ranked Switzerland highly in the three areas assessed. It came first in appeal, second in investment and development and second in readiness. Denmark, Sweden, Austria and Luxembourg rounded out the top five. Singapore is the only non-European country to make it into the top 10. A total of 63 countries were compared in their ability to attract, develop and retain highly skilled workers.  

“In this edition of the Talent Ranking, results indicate that one of the key characteristics of the leading economies is that they strive to achieve alignment between the talent demand they face and the domestic talent supply they are able to offer,” stated the report.  

Switzerland did not dazzle on all indicators, however. It ranked 29th and 30th in teacher-to-pupil ratios in primary and secondary schools, respectively. Cost of living was another indicator that might put highly skilled immigrants off Switzerland as it came in at 47th place. The proportion of young people studying science at university was less than 20%, which resulted in the country ranking a lowly 53 for this indicator. 

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Sort by

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Almost finished... We need to confirm your email address. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.

Weekly top stories

Keep up to date with the best stories from SWI on a range of topics, straight into your mailbox.


The SBC Privacy Policy provides additional information on how your data is processed.