Europe :: Switzerland
  • Introduction :: Switzerland
  • 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 to allow voters to introduce referenda on proposed laws, 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 :: Switzerland
  • Location:
    Central Europe, east of France, north of Italy
    Geographic coordinates:
    47 00 N, 8 00 E
    Map references:
    total: 41,277 sq km
    land: 39,997 sq km
    water: 1,280 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 136
    Area - comparative:
    slightly less than twice the size of New Jersey
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries:
    total: 1,770 km
    border countries (5): Austria 158 km, France 525 km, Italy 698 km, Liechtenstein 41 km, Germany 348 km
    0 km (landlocked)
    Maritime claims:
    none (landlocked)
    temperate, but varies with altitude; cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters; cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers
    mostly mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) with a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes
    mean elevation: 1,350 m
    lowest point: Lake Maggiore 195 m
    highest point: Dufourspitze 4,634 m
    Natural resources:
    hydropower potential, timber, salt
    Land use:
    agricultural land: 38.7% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 10.2% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0.6% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 27.9% (2011 est.)
    forest: 31.5% (2011 est.)
    other: 29.8% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land:
    630 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution:
    population distribution corresponds to elevation with the northern and western areas far more heavily populated; the higher Alps of the south limit settlement
    Natural hazards:
    avalanches, landslides; flash floods
    Environment - current issues:
    air pollution from vehicle emissions; water pollution from agricultural fertilizers; chemical contaminants and erosion damage the soil and limit productivity; loss of biodiversity
    Environment - international agreements:
    party to: 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
    signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
    Geography - note:
    landlocked; crossroads of northern and southern Europe; along with southeastern France, northern Italy, and southwestern Austria, has the highest elevations in the Alps
  • People and Society :: Switzerland
  • Population:
    8,403,994 (July 2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    noun: Swiss (singular and plural)
    adjective: Swiss
    Ethnic groups:
    Swiss 69.5%, German 4.2%, Italian 3.2%, Portuguese 2.6%, French 2%, Kosovar 1.1%, other 17.3%, unspecified .1% (2018 est.)
    note: data represent permanent and non-permanent resident population by country of birth
    German (or Swiss German) (official) 62.6%, French (official) 22.9%, Italian (official) 8.2%, English 5.4%, Portuguese 3.7%, Albanian 3.2%, Serbo-Croatian 2.5%, Spanish 2.4%, Romansh (official) 0.5%, other 7.7% (2017 est.)

    note: German, French, Italian, and Romansh are all national and official languages; shares sum to more than 100% because some respondents gave more than one answer

    Roman Catholic 35.9%, Protestant 23.8%, other Christian 5.9%, Muslim 5.4%, Jewish 0.3%, other 1.4%, none 26%, unspecified 1.4% (2017 est.)
    Age structure:
    0-14 years: 15.34% (male 664,255/female 625,252)
    15-24 years: 10.39% (male 446,196/female 426,708)
    25-54 years: 42.05% (male 1,768,245/female 1,765,941)
    55-64 years: 13.48% (male 569,717/female 563,482)
    65 years and over: 18.73% (male 699,750/female 874,448) (2020 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios:
    total dependency ratio: 51.6
    youth dependency ratio: 22.7
    elderly dependency ratio: 29
    potential support ratio: 3.5 (2020 est.)
    Median age:
    total: 42.7 years
    male: 41.7 years
    female: 43.7 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    Population growth rate:
    0.66% (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    Birth rate:
    10.5 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 187
    Death rate:
    8.5 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    Net migration rate:
    4.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    Population distribution:
    population distribution corresponds to elevation with the northern and western areas far more heavily populated; the higher Alps of the south limit settlement
    urban population: 73.9% of total population (2020)
    rate of urbanization: 0.88% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population:
    1.395 million Zurich, 430,000 BERN (capital) (2020)
    Sex ratio:
    at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth:
    30.7 years (2014 est.)
    Maternal mortality rate:
    5 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    Infant mortality rate:
    total: 3.5 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 3.8 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 3.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 201
    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 82.8 years
    male: 80.5 years
    female: 85.3 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    Total fertility rate:
    1.57 children born/woman (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 193
    Contraceptive prevalence rate:
    72.9% (2012)
    Drinking water source:
    improved: urban: 100% of population
    rural: 100% of population
    total: 100% of population
    unimproved: urban: 0% of population
    rural: 0% of population
    total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure:
    12.3% (2017)
    Physicians density:
    4.24 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
    Hospital bed density:
    4.7 beds/1,000 population (2013)
    Sanitation facility access:
    improved: urban: 99.9% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 99.8% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 99.9% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 0.1% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 0.2% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 0.1% of population (2015 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
    HIV/AIDS - deaths:
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
    19.5% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    Education expenditures:
    5.1% of GDP (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
    total: 16 years
    male: 16 years
    female: 16 years (2016)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
    total: 7.9%
    male: 8.4%
    female: 7.5% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
  • Government :: Switzerland
  • Country name:
    conventional long form: Swiss Confederation
    conventional short form: Switzerland
    local long form: Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft (German); Confederation Suisse (French); Confederazione Svizzera (Italian); Confederaziun Svizra (Romansh)
    local short form: Schweiz (German); Suisse (French); Svizzera (Italian); Svizra (Romansh)
    abbreviation: CH
    etymology: name derives from the canton of Schwyz, one of the founding cantons of the Old Swiss Confederacy that formed in the 14th century
    Government type:
    federal republic (formally a confederation)
    name: Bern
    geographic coordinates: 46 55 N, 7 28 E
    time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
    etymology: origin of the name is uncertain, but may derive from a 2nd century B.C. Celtic place name, possibly "berna" meaning "cleft," that was subsequently adopted by a Roman settlement  
    Administrative divisions:
    26 cantons (cantons, singular - canton in French; cantoni, singular - cantone in Italian; Kantone, singular - Kanton in German); Aargau, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, Berne/Bern, Fribourg/Freiburg, Geneve (Geneva), Glarus, Graubuenden/Grigioni/Grischun, Jura, Luzern, Neuchatel, Nidwalden, Obwalden, Sankt Gallen, Schaffhausen, Schwyz, Solothurn, Thurgau, Ticino, Uri, Valais/Wallis, Vaud, Zug, Zuerich

    note: 6 of the cantons - Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, Nidwalden, Obwalden - are referred to as half cantons because they elect only one member (instead of two) to the Council of States and, in popular referendums where a majority of popular votes and a majority of cantonal votes are required, these 6 cantons only have a half vote

    1 August 1291 (founding of the Swiss Confederation)
    National holiday:
    Founding of the Swiss Confederation in 1291; note - since 1 August 1891 celebrated as Swiss National Day
    history: previous 1848, 1874; latest adopted by referendum 18 April 1999, effective 1 January 2000
    amendments: proposed by the two houses of the Federal Assembly or by petition of at least one hundred thousand voters (called the "federal popular initiative"); passage of proposals requires majority vote in a referendum; following drafting of an amendment by the Assembly, its passage requires approval by majority vote in a referendum and approval by the majority of cantons; amended many times, last in 2018 (2020)
    International law organization participation:
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Switzerland
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: 12 years including at least 3 of the last 5 years prior to application
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President of the Swiss Confederation Simonetta SOMMARUGA (since 1 January 2020; Vice President Guy PARMELIN (since 1 January 2020); note - the Federal Council, which is comprised of 7 federal councillors, constitutes the federal government of Switzerland; council members rotate the 1-year term of federal president (chief of state and head of government)
    head of government:

    President of the Swiss Confederation Simonetta SOMMARUGA (since 1 January 2020; Vice President Guy PARMELIN (since 1 January 2020)

    cabinet: Federal Council or Bundesrat (in German), Conseil Federal (in French), Consiglio Federale (in Italian) indirectly elected by the Federal Assembly for a 4-year term
    elections/appointments: president and vice president elected by the Federal Assembly from among members of the Federal Council for a 1-year, non-consecutive term; election last held on 11 December 2019 (next to be held in December 2020)
    election results: Simonetta SOMMARUGA elected president; Federal Assembly vote - 192 of 205; Guy PARMELIN elected vice president; Federal Assembly vote - 191 of 204
    Legislative branch:
    description: description: bicameral Federal Assembly or Bundesversammlung (in German), Assemblée Fédérale (in French), Assemblea Federale (in Italian) consists of:
    Council of States or Ständerat (in German), Conseil des États (in French), Consiglio degli Stati (in Italian) (46 seats; members in multi-seat constituencies representing cantons and single-seat constituencies representing half cantons directly elected by simple majority vote except Jura and Neuchatel cantons which use proportional representation vote; member term governed by cantonal law)
    National Council or Nationalrat (in German), Conseil National (in French), Consiglio Nazionale (in Italian) (200 seats; 195 members in cantons directly elected by proportional representation vote and 6 in half cantons directly elected by simple majority vote; members serve 4-year terms) (e.g. 2019)
    Council of States - last held in most cantons on 20 October 2019 (each canton determines when the next election will be held)
    National Council - last held on 20 October 2019 (next to be held in 2023) (e.g. 2019)
    election results:
    Council of States - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CVP 13, FDP 12, SDP 9, Green Party 5, other 1; composition - NA
    National Council - percent of vote by party - SVP 25.6%, SP 16.8%, FDP 15.1%, Green Party 13.2%, CVP 11.4%, GLP 7.8%, other 10.1%; seats by party - SVP 53, SP 39, FDP 29, Green Party 28, CVP 25, GLP 16, other 10; composition - men 116, women 84, percent of women 42% (e.g. 2019)
    Judicial branch:
    highest courts: Federal Supreme Court (consists of 38 justices and 19 deputy justices organized into 7 divisions)
    judge selection and term of office: judges elected by the Federal Assembly for 6-year terms; note - judges are affiliated with political parties and are elected according to linguistic and regional criteria in approximate proportion to the level of party representation in the Federal Assembly
    subordinate courts: Federal Criminal Court (established in 2004); Federal Administrative Court (established in 2007); note - each of Switzerland's 26 cantons has its own courts
    Political parties and leaders:
    Christian Democratic People's Party (Christlichdemokratische Volkspartei der Schweiz or CVP, Parti Democrate-Chretien Suisse or PDC, Partito Popolare Democratico Svizzero or PPD, Partida Cristiandemocratica dalla Svizra or PCD) [Gerhard PFISTER]
    Conservative Democratic Party (Buergerlich-Demokratische Partei Schweiz or BDP, Parti Bourgeois Democratique Suisse or PBD, Partito Borghese Democratico Svizzero or PBD, Partido burgais democratica Svizera or PBD) [Martin LANDOLT]
    Free Democratic Party or FDP.The Liberals (FDP.Die Liberalen, PLR.Les Liberaux-Radicaux, PLR.I Liberali, Ils Liberals) [Petra GOESSI]
    Green Liberal Party (Gruenliberale Partei or GLP, Parti vert liberale or PVL, Partito Verde-Liberale or PVL, Partida Verde Liberale or PVL) [Juerg GROSSEN]
    Green Party (Gruene Partei der Schweiz or Gruene, Parti Ecologiste Suisse or Les Verts, Partito Ecologista Svizzero or I Verdi, Partida Ecologica Svizra or La Verda) [Regula RYTZ]
    Social Democratic Party (Sozialdemokratische Partei der Schweiz or SP, Parti Socialiste Suisse or PSS, Partito Socialista Svizzero or PSS, Partida Socialdemocratica de la Svizra or PSS) [Christian LEVRAT]
    Swiss People's Party (Schweizerische Volkspartei or SVP, Union Democratique du Centre or UDC, Unione Democratica di Centro or UDC, Uniun Democratica dal Center or UDC) [Albert ROESTI]
    other minor parties
    International organization participation:
    ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Australia Group, BIS, CD, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EFTA, EITI (implementing country), ESA, FAO, FATF, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PFP, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMISS, UNMOGIP, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    Ambassador Jacques PITTELOUD (since 16 September 2019)
    chancery: 2900 Cathedral Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 745-7900
    FAX: [1] (202) 387-2564
    consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco
    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Edward "Ed" MCMULLEN, Jr. (since 21 November 2017) note - also accredited to Liechtenstein
    telephone: [41] (031) 357-70-11
    embassy: Sulgeneckstrasse 19, CH-3007 Bern
    mailing address: use embassy street address
    FAX: [41] (031) 357-73-20
    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)
    National symbol(s):
    Swiss cross (white cross on red field, arms equal length); national colors: red, white
    National anthem:
    Leonhard WIDMER [German], Charles CHATELANAT [French], Camillo VALSANGIACOMO [Italian], and Flurin CAMATHIAS [Romansch]/Alberik ZWYSSIG
    the Swiss anthem has four names: "Schweizerpsalm" [German] "Cantique Suisse" [French] "Salmo svizzero," [Italian] "Psalm svizzer" [Romansch] (Swiss Psalm)

    note: unofficially adopted 1961, officially 1981; the anthem has been popular in a number of Swiss cantons since its composition (in German) in 1841; translated into the other three official languages of the country (French, Italian, and Romansch), it is official in each of those languages

  • Economy :: Switzerland
  • Economy - overview:

    Switzerland, a country that espouses neutrality, is a prosperous and modern market economy with low unemployment, a highly skilled labor force, and a per capita GDP among the highest in the world. Switzerland's economy benefits from a highly developed service sector, led by financial services, and a manufacturing industry that specializes in high-technology, knowledge-based production. Its economic and political stability, transparent legal system, exceptional infrastructure, efficient capital markets, and low corporate tax rates also make Switzerland one of the world's most competitive economies.

    The Swiss have brought their economic practices largely into conformity with the EU's to gain access to the Union’s Single Market and enhance the country’s international competitiveness. Some trade protectionism remains, however, particularly for its small agricultural sector. The fate of the Swiss economy is tightly linked to that of its neighbors in the euro zone, which purchases half of Swiss exports. The global financial crisis of 2008 and resulting economic downturn in 2009 stalled demand for Swiss exports and put Switzerland into a recession. During this period, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) implemented a zero-interest rate policy to boost the economy, as well as to prevent appreciation of the franc, and Switzerland's economy began to recover in 2010.

    The sovereign debt crises unfolding in neighboring euro-zone countries, however, coupled with economic instability in Russia and other Eastern European economies drove up demand for the Swiss franc by investors seeking a safehaven currency. In January 2015, the SNB abandoned the Swiss franc’s peg to the euro, roiling global currency markets and making active SNB intervention a necessary hallmark of present-day Swiss monetary policy. The independent SNB has upheld its zero interest rate policy and conducted major market interventions to prevent further appreciation of the Swiss franc, but parliamentarians have urged it to do more to weaken the currency. The franc's strength has made Swiss exports less competitive and weakened the country's growth outlook; GDP growth fell below 2% per year from 2011 through 2017.

    In recent years, Switzerland has responded to increasing pressure from neighboring countries and trading partners to reform its banking secrecy laws, by agreeing to conform to OECD regulations on administrative assistance in tax matters, including tax evasion. The Swiss Government has also renegotiated its double taxation agreements with numerous countries, including the US, to incorporate OECD standards.

    GDP (purchasing power parity):
    $523.1 billion (2017 est.)
    $514.5 billion (2016 est.)
    $506.5 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 39
    GDP (official exchange rate):
    $679 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate:
    1.7% (2017 est.)
    1.6% (2016 est.)
    1.3% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 165
    GDP - per capita (PPP):
    $62,100 (2017 est.)
    $61,800 (2016 est.)
    $61,500 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 17
    Gross national saving:
    33.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
    32.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
    33.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    GDP - composition, by end use:
    household consumption: 53.7% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 12% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 24.5% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: -1.4% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 65.1% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -54% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
    agriculture: 0.7% (2017 est.)
    industry: 25.6% (2017 est.)
    services: 73.7% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products:
    grains, fruits, vegetables; meat, eggs, dairy products
    machinery, chemicals, watches, textiles, precision instruments, tourism, banking, insurance, pharmaceuticals
    Industrial production growth rate:
    3.4% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    Labor force:
    5.159 million (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    Labor force - by occupation:
    agriculture: 3.3%
    industry: 19.8%
    services: 76.9% (2015)
    Unemployment rate:
    3.2% (2017 est.)
    3.3% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    Population below poverty line:
    6.6% (2014 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 7.5%
    highest 10%: 19% (2007)
    revenues: 242.1 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 234.4 billion (2017 est.)

    note: includes federal, cantonal, and municipal budgets

    Taxes and other revenues:
    35.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
    1.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    Public debt:
    41.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
    41.8% of GDP (2016 est.)

    note: general government gross debt; gross debt consists of all liabilities that require payment or payments of interest and/or principal by the debtor to the creditor at a date or dates in the future; includes debt liabilities in the form of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), currency and deposits, debt securities, loans, insurance, pensions and standardized guarantee schemes, and other accounts payable; all liabilities in the GFSM (Government Financial Systems Manual) 2001 system are debt, except for equity and investment fund shares and financial derivatives and employee stock options

    country comparison to the world: 119
    Fiscal year:
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices):
    0.5% (2017 est.)
    -0.4% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    Current account balance:
    $66.55 billion (2017 est.)
    $63.16 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    $313.5 billion (2017 est.)
    $318.1 billion (2016 est.)

    note: trade data exclude trade with Switzerland

    country comparison to the world: 17
    Exports - partners:
    Germany 15.2%, US 12.3%, China 8.2%, India 6.7%, France 5.7%, UK 5.7%, Hong Kong 5.4%, Italy 5.3% (2017)
    Exports - commodities:
    machinery, chemicals, metals, watches, agricultural products
    $264.5 billion (2017 est.)
    $266.3 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    Imports - commodities:
    machinery, chemicals, vehicles, metals; agricultural products, textiles
    Imports - partners:
    Germany 20.9%, US 7.9%, Italy 7.6%, UK 7.3%, France 6.8%, China 5% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
    $811.2 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $679.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 3
    Debt - external:
    $1.664 trillion (31 March 2016 est.)
    $1.663 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    Exchange rates:
    Swiss francs (CHF) per US dollar -
    0.9875 (2017 est.)
    0.9852 (2016 est.)
    0.9852 (2015 est.)
    0.9627 (2014 est.)
    0.9152 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Switzerland
  • Electricity access:
    electrification - total population: 100% (2016)
    Electricity - production:
    59.01 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    Electricity - consumption:
    58.46 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    Electricity - exports:
    30.17 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    Electricity - imports:
    34.1 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    Electricity - installed generating capacity:
    20.84 million kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 42
    Electricity - from fossil fuels:
    3% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 209
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
    18% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
    67% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    Electricity - from other renewable sources:
    13% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    Crude oil - production:
    0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 205
    Crude oil - exports:
    0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 201
    Crude oil - imports:
    57,400 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    Crude oil - proved reserves:
    0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 201
    Refined petroleum products - production:
    61,550 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    Refined petroleum products - consumption:
    223,900 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    Refined petroleum products - exports:
    7,345 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    Refined petroleum products - imports:
    165,100 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    Natural gas - production:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 205
    Natural gas - consumption:
    3.709 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    Natural gas - exports:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 194
    Natural gas - imports:
    3.681 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 42
    Natural gas - proved reserves:
    NA cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
    38.95 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
  • Communications :: Switzerland
  • Telephones - fixed lines:
    total subscriptions: 3,302,836
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 40 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    Telephones - mobile cellular:
    total subscriptions: 10,808,148
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 130 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    Telecommunication systems:
    general assessment: highly developed telecommunications infrastructure with extensive domestic and international services; one of the highest broadband penetration rates in Europe; although not a member of the EU, Switzerland follows the EU's telecom framework, and regulations; expansive cable broadband network with effective cross-platform competition; despite the countries expansion of 5G services, and switching off 2G infrastructure, the Environmental Agency has raised concern regarding the 2,000 5G mobile antennas and asked the govt. to halt 5G transmissions, the developers of the 5G infrastructure are allowed to continue with future checks to be studied of the health implications of the radio frequency radiation; regulator auction of 5G spectrum (2020)
    domestic: ranked among leading countries for fixed-line teledensity and infrastructure; fixed-line 40 per 100 and mobile-cellular subscribership 130 per 100 persons; extensive cable and microwave radio relay networks (2018)
    international: country code - 41; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean)
    the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
    Broadcast media:

    the publicly owned radio and TV broadcaster, Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SRG/SSR), operates 8 national TV networks, 3 broadcasting in German, 3 in French, and 2 in Italian; private commercial TV stations broadcast regionally and locally; TV broadcasts from stations in Germany, Italy, and France are widely available via multi-channel cable and satellite TV services; SRG/SSR operates 17 radio stations that, along with private broadcasters, provide national to local coverage )

    Internet country code:
    Internet users:
    total: 7,312,744
    percent of population: 89.4% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions:
    total: 3,957,669
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 48 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
  • Military and Security :: Switzerland
  • Military expenditures:
    0.7% of GDP (2019)
    0.7% of GDP (2018)
    0.7% of GDP (2017)
    0.7% of GDP (2016)
    0.7% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    Military and security forces:
    Swiss Armed Forces: Land Forces, Swiss Air Force (Schweizer Luftwaffe) (2019)
    Military service age and obligation:
    18-30 years of age generally for male compulsory military service; 18 years of age for voluntary male and female military service; every Swiss male has to serve at least 245 days in the armed forces; conscripts receive 18 weeks of mandatory training, followed by six 19-day intermittent recalls for training during the next 10 years (2019)
    Military and security service personnel strengths:
    the Swiss Armed Forces maintain an active duty cadre of 3-3,500 personnel along with approximately 18,500 conscripts brought in annually for 18-23 weeks of training (2019 est.)
    Military equipment inventories and acquisitions:
    the Swiss Armed Forces inventory includes a mix of domestically-produced and imported weapons systems; the US is the leading supplier of military armaments to Switzerland since 2010; the Swiss defense industry produces a range of military land vehicles (2019 est.)
    Military deployments:
    190 Kosovo (NATO) (2019 est.)
  • Transportation :: Switzerland
  • National air transport system:
    number of registered air carriers: 12 (2015)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 163 (2015)
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 26,843,991 (2015)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 1,322,379,468 mt-km (2015)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
    HB (2016)
    63 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    Airports - with paved runways:
    total: 40 (2013)
    over 3,047 m: 3 (2013)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 12 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 6 (2013)
    under 914 m: 17 (2013)
    Airports - with unpaved runways:
    total: 23 (2013)
    under 914 m: 23 (2013)
    2 (2013)
    1,800 km gas, 94 km oil (of which 60 are inactive), 17 km refined products (2017)
    total: 5,690 km (includes 19 km in neighboring countries) (2015)
    standard gauge: 3,836 km 1.435-m gauge (3,634 km electrified) (2015)
    narrow gauge: 1,630 km 1.200-m gauge (2 km electrified) (includes 19 km in neighboring countries) (2015)
    1188 km 1.000-m gauge (1,167.3 km electrified)
    36 km 0.800-m gauge (36.4 km electrified)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    total: 71,557 km (2017)
    paved: 71,557 km (includes 1,458 of expressways) (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    1,292 km (there are 1,227 km of waterways on lakes and rivers for public transport and 65 km on the Rhine River between Basel-Rheinfelden and Schaffhausen-Bodensee for commercial goods transport) (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    Merchant marine:
    total: 32 includes Liechtenstein
    by type: bulk carrier 24, general cargo 4, oil tanker 1, other 3 (2019)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    Ports and terminals:
    river port(s): Basel (Rhine)
  • Transnational Issues :: Switzerland
  • Disputes - international:


    Refugees and internally displaced persons:
    refugees (country of origin): 34,072 (Eritrea), 16,565 (Syria), 12,282 (Afghanistan), 5,744 (Sri Lanka) (2018)
    stateless persons: 49 (2018)
    Illicit drugs:
    a major international financial center vulnerable to the layering and integration stages of money laundering; despite significant legislation and reporting requirements, secrecy rules persist and nonresidents are permitted to conduct business through offshore entities and various intermediaries; transit country for and consumer of South American cocaine, Southwest Asian heroin, and Western European synthetics; domestic cannabis cultivation and limited ecstasy production