Liechtenstein is a good place to live, people say. With very high salaries compared with other European countries and a low level of unemployment, the majority of the population is indeed able to afford a high material standard of living. But this lifestyle has its price.
Liechtenstein not only has one of the highest wage levels in Europe but is also one of the most expensive countries in Europe to live in. Living costs are similar to those in neighbouring Switzerland. Living, energy, transport, mandatory health insurance and other fixed costs take up around half of the average person's income. This average income is between 3500 and 9000 Swiss francs per month depending on the sector.
According to the most recent census carried out in Liechtenstein in 2010, living costs in the Principality can be summarised as follows. The average monthly rent on a one-room flat was in 2010 790 Swiss francs, while the average two-room flat cost 1076 Swiss francs per month. Three-room flats cost an average of 1430 Swiss francs and four-room flats 1680 Swiss francs. According to the Office of Statistics, a five-room flat cost 1830 Swiss francs.
Liechtenstein's mandatory health insurance guarantees all persons living or working in Liechtenstein access to the country's healthcare system. This insurance is financed through contributions made by the insurance holder and the employer as well as through deductibles paid by the insurance holder and state subsidies.
All insured adults pay a "per capita premium". Insured persons aged 21 and over as well as pensioners also contribute to the cost of halthcare in the form of an annual flat rate and deductibles in case of treatment. The rising cost of healthcare in recent years means that health insurance is increasingly becoming a financial burden.
As with fixed costs, the prices of food and other everyday goods and services are among the highest in Europe. The average Liechtensteiner spends around a quarter of his monthly income on these items.