Switzerland
in Western Europe
Europe

Location Summary
Currency and Currency Code:
Franc - CHF
Spoken languages:
German, French, Italian, Romansh
Local electricity:
230 V - 50 Hz (plugs: C, J)
Mobile phone / cellular frequencies (MHz):
900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 3G, 4G
ISO 2-Letter code:
CH
Internet top level domain:
.ch
Country phone prefix:
+41
Local Time (capital):
Timezone:
UTC/GMT offset: hours

Explore Switzerland

Switzerland with its capital Bern is located in Europe (Central Europe, east of France). It covers some 41,278 square kilometers (slightly less than twice the size of New Jersey) with 8,236,300 citizens. German, French, Italian and Romansh are the common languages used in Switzerland (consider regional differences). Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Liechtenstein are bordering countries.

Switzerland is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The climate is temperate, but varies with altitude. Switzerland has cold rainy/snowy winters and cool to warm summers with occasional showers. Switzerland is a peaceful, prosperous, and stable modern market economy with low unemployment, a highly skilled labor force, and a per capita GDP larger than that of the big Western European economies. Major international airports are in Zurich, Geneva and Basel, with smaller airports in Lugano and Berne. Common tourist destinations within Switzerland are easily reachable by car, e.g. Geneva from central eastern France, and Zurich from southern Germany. The Swiss will spoil you with fantastic transportation - swift, disturbingly punctual trains, clean buses, and a half dozen different kinds of mountain transport systems, integrated into a coherent system. Switzerland is famous for a few key goods: watches, chocolate, cheese, and Swiss Army knives (Note that these must be packed in hold luggage). Swiss employment law bans working on Sundays, so shops generally stay closed. Switzerland is not surprisingly one of the safest countries in Europe, but anywhere that attracts Rolex-wearing bankers and crowds of distracted tourists will also bring out a few pickpockets. Obviously, keep an eye on belongings, especially in the midst of summer crowds.

Popular Destinations in Switzerland

Administrative regions of Switzerland

About the country

Website: Switzerland Tourism

Toedistrasse 7
P.O. Box 695
8027 Zurich

Phone: +41 1 288 1111
Fax: +41 1 288 1205
Mail: postoffice@switzerlandtourism.ch

The topography is mostly mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) with a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes. The average density of population is about 200 per km². The climate in Switzerland can be described as temperate, but varying with altitudecold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters, cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers. Potential natural disasters are avalanches, landslides flash floods

To reach someone Switzerland dial +41 prior to a number. The local cellular networks are operated on 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 3G, 4G. Websites typically end with the top level domain ".ch". If you want to bring electric appliances (e.g. battery chaarger), keep in min the local 230 V - 50 Hz (plugs: C, J). The sign for the locally used currency Franc is CHF.

Red square with a bold, equilateral white cross in the center that does not extend to the edges of the flag; various medieval legends purport to describe the origin of the flag; a white cross used as identification for troops of the Swiss Confederation is first attested at the Battle of Laupen (1339).

Flag of Switzerland

The Swiss Confederation was founded in 1291 as a defensive alliance among three cantons. In succeeding years, other localities joined the original three. The Swiss Confederation secured its independence from the Holy Roman Empire in 1499. A constitution of 1848, subsequently modified in 1874, replaced the confederation with a centralized federal government. Switzerland's sovereignty and neutrality have long been honored by the major European powers, and the country was not involved in either of the two world wars. The political and economic integration of Europe over the past half century, as well as Switzerland's role in many UN and international organizations, has strengthened Switzerland's ties with its neighbors. However, the country did not officially become a UN member until 2002. Switzerland remains active in many UN and international organizations but retains a strong commitment to neutrality.

Geography

Area
Total (World Rank: 136) 41,277sq km
Land (World Rank: 133) 39,997sq km
Water (World Rank: 104) 1,280sq km
Forest (World Rank: 60) 27.90%
Comparative slightly less than twice the size of New Jersey
Landborder
1770
Elevation
Lowest point (World Rank: 18) 195m
Highest point (World Rank: 33) 4,634m
Agricultural land
Total (World Rank: 109) 38.70%
Arable (World Rank: 107) 10.20%
Permanent crops (World Rank: 140) 0.60%
Permanent pastures (World Rank: 60) 27.90%
Irrigated land (World Rank: 111) 630sq km
Map reference
Europe
Environment
Issues
  • - acid rain
  • - air pollution from vehicle emissions and open-air burning
  • - loss of biodiversity
  • - water pollution from increased use of agricultural fertilizers
Agreement party
  • - Air Pollution
  • - Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides
  • - Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants
  • - Air Pollution-Sulfur 85
  • - Air Pollution-Sulfur 94
  • - Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds
  • - Antarctic Treaty
  • - Biodiversity
  • - Climate Change
  • - Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
  • - Desertification
  • - Endangered Species
  • - Environmental Modification
  • - Hazardous Wastes
  • - Marine Dumping
  • - Marine Life Conservation
  • - Ozone Layer Protection
  • - Ship Pollution
  • - Tropical Timber 83
  • - Tropical Timber 94
  • - Wetlands
  • - Whaling
Agreement signed Law of the Sea
Hazzards
  • - avalanches, landslides
  • - flash floods
Location
Central Europe, east of France, north of Italy
Climate
temperate, but varies with altitude; cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters; cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers
Terrain
mostly mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) with a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes

People

Population
Total (World Rank: 98) 8,236,300
Deathrate (World Rank: 82) 0.83%
Birthrate (World Rank: 184) 1.05%
Growthrate (World Rank: 143) 0.69%
Migration rate (World Rank: 25) 0.47%
Fertility rate (World Rank: 185) 1.56%
Median age
Male (World Rank: 21) 41.40
Female (World Rank: 32) 43.40
Age structure
0 14 male (World Rank: 114) 642,814
0 14 female (World Rank: 114) 605,689
15 24 male (World Rank: 113) 458,044
15 24 female (World Rank: 113) 438,373
25 54 male (World Rank: 93) 1,784,050
25 54 female (World Rank: 92) 1,774,490
55 64 male (World Rank: 68) 519,709
55 64 female (World Rank: 73) 518,421
65 x male (World Rank: 56) 658,673
65 x female (World Rank: 57) 836,035
Health
Infant mortality rate (World Rank: 195) 0.36%
Life expectancy total (World Rank: 9) 83years
Life expectancy female (World Rank: 13) 85years
Life expectancy male (World Rank: 10) 80years
Physicians per 1000 (World Rank: 12) 4.11
Hospital bed per 1000 (World Rank: 36) 5.00
Sanitation access total (World Rank: 20) 99.90%
Obesity adult (World Rank: 112) 19.50%
Drinking water access (World Rank: 12) 100.00%

Energy

Electricity
Production (World Rank: 44) 64,060,000,000kWh
Consumption (World Rank: 43) 58,450,000,000kWh
Export (World Rank: 5) 30,170,000,000kWh
Import (World Rank: 4) 34,100,000,000kWh
Source fossil (World Rank: 207) 2.90%
Source nuclear (World Rank: 94) 17.00%
Source renew (World Rank: 65) 11.10%
Crude oil
Exports (World Rank: 77) 319bbl / day
Imports (World Rank: 54) 58,400bbl / day
Refined products
Production (World Rank: 78) 63,400bbl / day
Consumption (World Rank: 53) 217,400bbl / day
Export (World Rank: 83) 8,894bbl / day
Import (World Rank: 37) 166,300bbl / day
Natural gas
Production (World Rank: 90) 25,000,000
Consumption (World Rank: 66) 4,639,000,000
Import (World Rank: 41) 0
Carbon footprint
45000000

Nation

Budget
Education (World Rank: 61) 5% of GDP
Military (World Rank: 132) 1% of GDP
Health (World Rank: 7) 12% of GDP
Surplus (World Rank: 30) 1% of GDP
National symbol
Swiss cross
National colours
white
Adjective
Swiss
Noun
Swiss (singular and plural)
Background
The Swiss Confederation was founded in 1291 as a defensive alliance among three cantons. In succeeding years, other localities joined the original three. The Swiss Confederation secured its independence from the Holy Roman Empire in 1499. A constitution of 1848, subsequently modified in 1874, replaced the confederation with a centralized federal government. Switzerland's sovereignty and neutrality have long been honored by the major European powers, and the country was not involved in either of the two world wars. The political and economic integration of Europe over the past half century, as well as Switzerland's role in many UN and international organizations, has strengthened Switzerland's ties with its neighbors. However, the country did not officially become a UN member until 2002. Switzerland remains active in many UN and international organizations but retains a strong commitment to neutrality.
Flag description
red square with a bold, equilateral white cross in the center that does not extend to the edges of the flag; various medieval legends purport to describe the origin of the flag; a white cross used as identification for troops of the Swiss Confederation is first attested at the Battle of Laupen (1339)

Economy

Gdp
Purchasing power parity (World Rank: 38) 502,700,000,000USD
Real growth rate (World Rank: 160) 1.40%
Per capita purchasing power parity (World Rank: 16) 60,400USD
Source agriculture (World Rank: 205) 0.70%
Source industry (World Rank: 114) 25.50%
Source service (World Rank: 50) 73.80%
Labourforce
Total (World Rank: 80) 5,119,000
In poverty (World Rank: 160) 6.60%
Products
Industries
  • - banking
  • - chemicals
  • - insurance
  • - machinery
  • - pharmaceuticals
  • - precision instruments
  • - textiles
  • - tourism
  • - watches
Agriculture
  • - dairy products
  • - eggs
  • - fruits
  • - grains
  • - meat
  • - vegetables
Exports
  • - agricultural products
  • - chemicals
  • - machinery
  • - metals
  • - watches
Imports
  • - agricultural products
  • - chemicals
  • - machinery
  • - metals
  • - textiles
  • - vehicles

Communication

Phone
Landline total (World Rank: 36) 4,029,000
Landline per 100 (World Rank: 20) 49.00
Mobile per 100 (World Rank: 42) 138.00
Assessment 0
Internet
Users (World Rank: 59) 7,312,740
Population (World Rank: 26) 89.40%

Transport

Air
Airports paved (World Rank: 48) 40.00
Airports unpaved (World Rank: 97) 23.00
Heliports (World Rank: 60) 2.00
Rail
Total length (World Rank: 34) 5,652
Road
Total length (World Rank: 66) 71,464
Paved length (World Rank: 38) 71,464
Water
Total length (World Rank: 59) 1,292