Switzerland

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

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. 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.

Geography

Area

total: 41,277 sq km

land: 39,997 sq km

water: 1,280 sq km

Climate

temperate, but varies with altitude; cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters; cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers

Natural resources

hydropower potential, timber, salt

People and Society

Population

8,508,698 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

Swiss 69.2%, German 4.2%, Italian 3.2%, Portuguese 2.5%, French 2.1%, Kosovo 1.1%, Turkish 1%, other 16.7% (2020 est.)

Languages

German (or Swiss German) (official) 62.1%, French (official) 22.8%, Italian (official) 8%, English 5.7%, Portuguese 3.5%, Albanian 3.3%, Serbo-Croatian 2.3%, Spanish 2.3%, Romansh (official) 0.5%, other 7.9%; note - German, French, Italian, and Romansh are all national and official languages; shares sum to more than 100% because respondents could indicate more than one main language (2019 est.)

Religions

Roman Catholic 34.4%, Protestant 22.5%, other Christian 5.7%, Muslim 5.4%, other 1.5%, none 29.4%, unspecified 1.1% (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

0.65% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

federal republic (formally a confederation)

Capital

name: Bern

Executive branch

chief of state: President of the Swiss Confederation Ignazio CASSIS (since 1 January 2022); Vice President Alain BERSET (since 1 January 2022); note - the Federal Council, comprised of 7 federal councillors, constitutes the federal government of Switzerland; council members rotate the 1-year term of federal president

head of government: President of the Swiss Confederation Ignazio CASSIS (since 1 January 2022); Vice President Alain BERSET (since 1 January 2022)

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 list 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)

Economy

Economic overview

high-income, non-EU European economy; renowned banking and financial hub; extremely low unemployment; highly skilled but aging workforce; key pharmaceutical and precision manufacturing exporter; fairly high public debt

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$590.71 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$68,400 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

milk, sugar beet, wheat, potatoes, pork, barley, apples, maize, beef, grapes

Industries

machinery, chemicals, watches, textiles, precision instruments, tourism, banking, insurance, pharmaceuticals

Exports

$470.91 billion (2020 est.)

Exports - partners

Germany 16%, United States 14%, United Kingdom 8%, China 7%, France 6%, India 6%, Italy 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

gold, packaged medicines, medical cultures/vaccines, watches, jewelry (2019)

Imports

$401.91 billion (2020 est.)

Imports - partners

Germany 21%, Italy 8%, United States 6%, France 6%, United Kingdom 5%, United Arab Emirates 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

gold, packaged medicines, jewelry, cars, medical cultures/vaccines (2019)

Exchange rates

Swiss francs (CHF) per US dollar -


Page last updated: Sunday, August 28, 2022