Countries of the World:
Resources about Switzerland including maps, facts about
the land, people, history, government, political
conditions, and economy.
Economy of Switzerland
GDP (2009): $494.6 billion (519.2 billion Swiss francs
Government expenses (in GDP%, 2008): 38.3% (federal,
cantonal, and local).
Annual growth rate (2009): -1.9%.
Unemployment (October 2010): 3.6%.
Per capita income (2009 est.): $63,519.
Avg. inflation rate: -0.3% (2009); 1.4% (2010 est.).
Natural resources: Water power, timber, salt.
Agriculture (1% of GDP): Products--dairy (24%), livestock
(26%), grains (4%), fruit and vegetables, potatoes, wine
Arable land (1999): 26%.
Industry (est. 29% of GDP): Types--machinery, chemicals,
pharmaceuticals, time pieces, precision instruments,
textiles and clothing, pigment, transportation equipment.
Services (70% of GDP).
Trade: Merchandise exports (2009)--$173 billion (official
exchange rate): food, beverages, and tobacco (3%; +24%);
metal and chemical industries (42%; +12%); precision
instruments (7%; +8%); watches (8%; +16%); machinery and
electronics (21%; +11%); clothing 1.1%; +4%). Major markets-
-EU, United States, Canada, CIS, India, Brazil, Japan.
Merchandise imports (2009)--$156 billion (official exchange
rate): consumer goods (38%); equipment (19%); energy (7.1%);
raw materials (28%). Major suppliers--EU, U.S., Canada, CIS,
Exchange rate (November 2010): $1 U.S. = 0.9833 CHF or SFr.
Geography of Switzerland
Area: 41,285 sq. km. (15,941 sq. mi.); about the size of
Vermont and New Hampshire combined.
Cities: Capital--Bern (population about 123,000). Other
cities--Zurich (359,000), Geneva (180,000), Basel (164,000),
Terrain: 40% mountains, the remainder hills and plateau.
Switzerland straddles the central ranges of the Alps.
Climate: Temperate, varying with altitude and season.
Government of Switzerland
Type: Federal state.
Independence: The first Swiss Confederation was founded in
August 1291 as a defensive alliance among three cantons. The
Swiss Confederation established independence from the Holy
Roman Empire in 1499.
Constitution: 1848; extensively amended in 1874; fully revised
Branches: Executive--Federal Council, a collegium of seven
members, headed by a rotating 1-year presidency. Legislative--
Federal Assembly (bicameral: Council of States, 46 members;
National Council, 200 members). Judicial--Federal Tribunal.
Administrative subdivisions: 26 cantons (states) with
Political parties: Swiss People's Party (SVP), Social
Democratic Party (SP), Free Democratic Party (FDP), Christian
Democratic Party (CVP), and several smaller parties
representing localities or views from extreme left to extreme
Suffrage: In federal matters, universal over 18.
Map of Switzerland
This Map of Switzerland shows the borders of the country, as
well as rivers, and cities including Bern the capital of
Switzerland. (Maps from the U.S. State Department)
Official Name of Switzerland
The Official Name of Switzerland is the Swiss Confederation.
(Facts from the U.S. State Department)
People of Switzerland
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Swiss (singular and plural).
Population (year-end 2009): 7.8 million.
Ethnic groups: Mixed European.
Religions: Roman Catholic 42%, Protestant 33%, Muslim 4.3%,
others 5.4%, no religion 11%.
Languages: German 63.7%, French 20.4%, Italian 6.5%, Romansch
0.5%, other 9.4%.
Education: Years compulsory--9. Attendance--100%. Literacy--
Health: Infant mortality rate--3.9/1,000. Life expectancy--men
79.4 yrs., women 84.2 yrs.
Work force (4.0 million in second quarter 2010): Agriculture
and forestry--4.0%. Industry and construction--23.5%. Services
sector and government--72.5%.
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