Country Summary

2023 population pyramid



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. The major European powers have long honored Switzerland's sovereignty and neutrality, and the country was not involved in either World War.



total: 41,277 sq km
land: 39,997 sq km
water: 1,280 sq km


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


total: 8,860,574
male: 4,403,105
female: 4,457,469 (2024 est.)

Ethnic groups

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


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.)


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

0.75% (2024 est.)


Government type

federal republic (formally a confederation)


name: Bern

Executive branch

chief of state: President of the Swiss Confederation Viola AMHERD (since 1 January 2024); Vice President Karin KELLER-SUTTER (since 1 January 2024); 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 Viola AMHERD (since 1 January 2024); Vice President Karin KELLER-SUTTER (since 1 January 2024)

Legislative branch

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 two-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; 194 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)


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)

$634.296 billion (2022 est.)
$618.413 billion (2021 est.)
$586.775 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$72,300 (2022 est.)
$71,000 (2021 est.)
$67,900 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

milk, sugar beets, wheat, potatoes, pork, apples, barley, beef, grapes, maize (2022)


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


$627.54 billion (2022 est.)
$579.017 billion (2021 est.)
$474.042 billion (2020 est.)

Exports - partners

US 15%, Germany 13%, China 11%, Italy 6%, France 5% (2022)

Exports - commodities

gold, vaccines, packaged medicine, nitrogen compounds, base metal watches (2022)


$518.451 billion (2022 est.)
$481.093 billion (2021 est.)
$429.875 billion (2020 est.)

Imports - partners

Germany 21%, US 10%, Italy 8%, France 6%, China 5% (2022)

Imports - commodities

gold, packaged medicine, vaccines, cars, garments (2022)

Exchange rates

Swiss francs (CHF) per US dollar -
Exchange rates:
0.955 (2022 est.)
0.914 (2021 est.)
0.939 (2020 est.)
0.994 (2019 est.)
0.978 (2018 est.)

Page last updated: Wednesday, May 15, 2024