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Switzerland Facts

Switzerland Facts | Swiss Confederation Information | Switzerland Statistics | Switzerland

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 SWISS POLITICAL
  Switzerland Facts |  Swiss Confederation Information | Switzerland Statistics  
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. 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.
 
 
Common Name: Switzerland Local Official Name: Schweiz (German); Suisse (French); Svi
Abbreviated Name: Swiss Confederation Official Name: Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft (German); Co
Official Script Name: Switzerland Local Common Name: Switzerland
Former Name: Switzerland Territory of: NA
 
Head of State: President Moritz LEUENBERGER
 
Government Type: formally a confederation, but similar in structure to a federal republic
 
Independence: 1291 August 1 (Founding of the Swiss Confederation)
 
Constitution: 1874 May 29
 
National Holiday: Founding of the Swiss Confederation, 1 August
 
International Organization Participation: ACCT, AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EFTA, ESA, FAO, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MONUC, NAM (guest), NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMEE, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO, ZC
 
Administrative Divisions: 26 cantons (cantons, singular - canton in French; cantoni, singular - cantone in Italian; kantone, singular - kanton in German); Aargau, Appenzell Ausser-Rhoden, Appenzell Inner-Rhoden, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, Bern, Fribourg, Geneve, Glarus, Graubunden, Jura, Luzern, Neuchatel, Nidwalden, Obwalden, Sankt Gallen, Schaffhausen, Schwyz, Solothurn, Thurgau, Ticino, Uri, Valais, Vaud, Zug, Zurich
 
Dependent Areas: NA
 
Legal System: civil law system influenced by customary law; judicial review of legislative acts, except with respect to federal decrees of general obligatory character; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
 
Suffrage: 18 years
 
Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches: Executive Branch: chief of state: President Moritz LEUENBERGER (since 8 January 2006); Vice President Micheline CALMY-REY (since 8 January 2006); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government head of government: President Moritz LEUENBERGER (since 8 January 2006); Vice President Micheline CALMY-REY (since 8 January 2006); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government cabinet: Federal Council or Bundesrat (in German), Conseil Federal (in French), Consiglio Federale (in Italian) elected by the Federal Assembly usually from among its own members for a four-year term elections: president and vice president elected by the Federal Assembly from among the members of the Federal Council for a one-year term that run concurrently (may not serve consecutive terms); election last held 7 December 2005 (next to be held December 2006) election results: Moritz LUENBERGER elected president; percent of Federal Assembly vote - NA; Micheline CALMY-REY elected vice president; percent of legislative vote - NA Legislative Branch: bicameral Federal Assembly or Bundesversammlung (in German), Assemblee Federale (in French), Assemblea Federale (in Italian) consists of the Council of States or Standerat (in German), Conseil des Etats (in French), Consiglio degli Stati (in Italian) (46 seats - consists of two representatives from each canton and one from each half canton; members serve four-year terms) and the National Council or Nationalrat (in German), Conseil National (in French), Consiglio Nazionale (in Italian) (200 seats - members are elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms) elections: Council of States - last held in most cantons 19 October 2003 (each canton determines when the next election will be held); National Council - last held 19 October 2003 (next to be held October 2007) election results: Council of States - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - CVP 15, FDP 14, SVP 8, SPS 6, other 3; National Council - percent of vote by party - SVP 26.6%, SPS 23.3%, FDP 17.3%, CVP 14.4%, Greens 7.4%, other small parties all under 5%; seats by party - SVP 55, SPS 54, FDP 36, CVP 28, Green Party 13, other small parties 14 Judicial Branch: Federal Supreme Court (judges elected for six-year terms by the Federal Assembly)
 
Party Leaders: Green Party (Grune Partei der Schweiz or Grune, Parti Ecologiste Suisse or Les Verts, Partito Ecologista Svizzero or I Verdi, Partida Ecologica Svizra or La Verda) [Ruth GENNER]; Christian Democratic People's Party (Christichdemokratische Volkspartei der Schweiz or CVP, Parti Democrate-Chretien Suisse or PDC, Partito Democratico-Cristiano Popolare Svizzero or PDC, Partida Cristiandemocratica dalla Svizra or PCD) [Doris LEUTHARD, president]; Radical Free Democratic Party (Freisinnig-Demokratische Partei der Schweiz or FDP, Parti Radical-Democratique Suisse or PRD, Partitio Liberal-Radicale Svizzero or PLR) [Marianne KLEINER-SCHLAEPFER, president]; Social Democratic Party (Sozialdemokratische Partei der Schweiz or SPS, Parti Socialist Suisse or PSS, Partito Socialista Svizzero or PSS, Partida Socialdemocratica de la Svizra or PSS) [Hans-Juerg FEHR, president]; Swiss People's Party (Schweizerische Volkspartei or SVP, Union Democratique du Centre or UDC, Unione Democratica de Centro or UDC, Uniun Democratica dal Center or UDC) [Ueli MAURER, president]; and other minor parties
 
International Disputes: NA
 
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 and Southwest Asian heroin 
 
 
 SWISS GEOGRAPHY
  Switzerland Facts |  Swiss Confederation Information | Switzerland Statistics  
 
Location of Switzerland: Central Europe, east of France, north of Italy
 
Continent: Europe Land Area Total: 41,290 sq km 
Region: Central Europe Land Area Land: 39,770 sq km
Capitol City: Bern Land Area Water: 1,520 sq km
      
Latitude: 047 00 N Border Boundary Land: 1,852 km
Longitude: 008 00 E Border Boundary Coastline: 0 km 
  
Arable Land: 9.91 % Pastures: 0.00 %
Crops: 0.58 % Woodlands and Forests: 0.00
  
Highest Elevation: 4,634 m Location: Dufourspitze
Lowest Elevation: 195 m Location: Lake Maggiore
  
Largest City in Switzerland: Zurich Zurich Largest City Population: 974,000
  
Threatened Species: 43
 
Environmental Issues: air pollution from vehicle emissions and open-air burning; acid rain; water pollution from increased use of agricultural fertilizers; loss of biodiversity
 
Environmental 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
 
Irrigated Land: 250
 
Bordering Countries: Austria 164 km, France 573 km, Italy 740 km, Liechtenstein 41 km, Germany 334 km
 
Natural Resources: hydropower potential, timber, salt
 
Geographical Terrain: mostly mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) with a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes
 
Comparative Area of Switzerland: slightly less than twice the size of New Jersey
 
Switzerland's Geography: landlocked; crossroads of northern and southern Europe; along with southeastern France, northern Italy, and southwestern Austria, has the highest elevations in the Alps
 

 SWISS CLIMATE
  Switzerland Facts |  Swiss Confederation Information | Switzerland Statistics  
 
General Climate: temperate, but varies with altitude; cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters; cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers
 
Natural Hazards: avalanches, landslides, flash floods
 
 
 SWISS ECONOMY
  Switzerland Facts |  Swiss Confederation Information | Switzerland Statistics  
 
Economic Overview: 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. The Swiss in recent years have brought their economic practices largely into conformity with the EU's to enhance their international competitiveness. Switzerland remains a safehaven for investors, because it has maintained a degree of bank secrecy and has kept up the franc's long-term external value. Reflecting the anemic economic conditions of Europe, GDP growth dropped in 2001 to about 0.8%, to 0.2% in 2002, and to -0.3% in 2003, with a small rise to 1.8% in 2004-05. Even so, unemployment has remained at less than half the EU average.
 
 
GDP: $240,900,000,000 USD Currency: Swiss franc
GDP per Capita: $32,200 USD Currency Code: CHF
GDP Growth Rate: 1.90 %
  
Currency Exchange Rate History: Swiss francs per US dollar - 1.2452 (2005), 1.2435 (2004), 1.3467 (2003), 1.5586 (2002), 1.6876 (2001)
  
  
GDP of Agriculture: 1.50 % GDP of Industry: 34.00 %
GDP of Services: 64.50 %  
   
Inflation Rate: 1.20 % Population in Poverty: 0.00 %
Unemployment Rate: 3.80 % Tourism: 10,700,000.00 visitors each year
   
Consumption by lowest 10%: 2.80 % Budget Revenue in USD: $138,100,000,000 USD
Consumption by upper 10%: 25.20 % Budget Expenditures in USD: $143,600,000,000 USD
   
Electricity Production: 63,400,000,000 kWh Electricity Exports: 33,200,000,000 kWh
Electricity Consumption: 55,860,000,000 kWh Electricity Imports: 30,100,000,000 kWh

Electricity Production by Source:
 
Fossil Fuel Electricity Production: 3.96% Nuclear Electricity Production: 36.93%
Hydro Electricity Production: 56.81% Other Electricity Production: 2.30%
   
Oil Production: 1,950 barrels per day Natural Gas Production: 0 cu m
Oil Consumption: 258,900 barrels per day Natural Gas Consumption: 3,209,000,000 cu m
Oil Exports: 10,420 barrels per day Natural Gas Exports: 0 cu m
Oil Imports: 289,500 barrels per day Natural Gas Imports: 3,093,000,000 cu m
Proven Oil Reserves: 0 barrels Proven Natural Gas Reserves: 0 cu m
   
External Debt: $856,000,000,000 USD Received in economic aid: $0 USD
  Donated in economic aid: $1,100,000,000 USD
   
Agricultural Products: grains, fruits, vegetables; meat, eggs
 
Primary Industries: machinery, chemicals, watches, textiles, precision instruments
 
Industrial Growth Rate: 3.00 %
  
  
Import Amount in USD: $135,000,000,000 USD - machinery, chemicals, vehicles, metals; agricultural products, textiles
 
Import Partners: Germany 31.6%, Italy 10.5%, France 10%, US 5.6%, Netherlands 4.8%, Austria 4.6%, UK 4.4%
 
Export Amount in USD: $148,600,000,000 USD - machinery, chemicals, metals, watches, agricultural products
 
Export Partners: Germany 19.4%, US 10.9%, Italy 9.1%, France 8.7%, UK 5.4%, Spain 4.1%
 
    
GINI Index: 33.10%
 
Labor Force Number of People: 3,800,000
 
Labor Force by Occupations: services 69.1%, industry 26.3%, agriculture 4.6%
 
  
 SWISS COMMUNICATIONS
  Switzerland Facts |  Swiss Confederation Information | Switzerland Statistics  
 
Radio Broadcast Stations: 119 Number of People with Radios: 7,100,000
Television Broadcast Stations: 115 Number of People with Televisions: 3,310,000
Number of People with Mainline Telephones: 5,123,000 Number of People with Mobile Phones: 6,847,000
 
Internet Service Providers: 1,823,012 Internet Users: 5,097,822
 
Internet Country Code: .ch Newspapers: 373
Two Letter Country Code: CH Weights and Measures:
Phone Country Code: 41 Electricity Voltage: 230 Volts
  
Telephone Systems: general assessment: excellent domestic and international services domestic: extensive cable and microwave radio relay networks international: country code - 41; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean)
 
  
 SWISS TRANSPORTATION
  Switzerland Facts |  Swiss Confederation Information | Switzerland Statistics  

   

Highways: 71,297 km Railways: 4,583 km
Gas And Oil Pipelines: 1,932 km Waterways: 65 km
Airports: 42 Heliports: 2
 
Motor Vehicles: 500 per 1,000 people CO2 Emissions: 44,809,000 Metric Tons of CO2 per year
  Per capita CO2 emissions: 5.60 Metric Tons of CO2 per year
  
Merchant Marines: total: 27 ships (1000 GRT or over) 492,434 GRT/810,559 DWT by type: bulk carrier 9, cargo 10, chemical tanker 3, container 4, specialized tanker 1 foreign-owned: 2 (Monaco 2) registered in other countries: 320 (Antigua and Barbuda 4, Bahamas 2, Belize 1, Bermuda 2, Cyprus 4, France 2, French Southern and Antarctic Lands 1, Germany 1, Indonesia 3, Liberia 7, Malta 21, Marshall Islands 13, Mauritius 2, Morocco 1, Panama 226, Portugal 3, Russia 7, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 13, Tonga 1, Turkey 1, UK 3, Vanuatu 2)
 
Ports and Harbors: Basel
 
  
 SWISS PEOPLE
  Switzerland Facts |  Swiss Confederation Information | Switzerland Statistics  
 
Population: 7,523,934 people type - nationality Birth Rate: 9.71 births per 1,000 people
Population Density: 174.00 people per sq km Death Rate: 8.49 deaths per 1,000 people
Population Growth: 0.43% per year Fertility Rate per Women: 1.43 babies born per woman
 
Population Male 0-14: 637,585 Population Female 0-14: 591,297
Population Male 15-64: 2,585,062 Population Female 15-64: 2,539,345
Population Male 65+: 480,198 Population Female 65+: 690,447
 
Population 0-14: 16.30% Literacy Rate: 99.00%
Population 15-64: 68.10% Literacy rate of Males: 99.00%
Population 65+: 15.60% Literacy rate of Females: 99.00%
 
Population that is Male: 48.50 % Population that is Female: 51.50%
Life expectancy at birth in years: 80.51 years Infant mortality rate - baby deaths per 1000 births: 4.34 Babies die per 1,000 births
Life expectancy at birth for Males: 77.69 years Life expectancy at birth for Females: 83.48 years
 
Rate of AIDS/HIV infection: 0.40% Number of people living with AIDS or HIV: 13,000
Number of people who died of AIDS: 0
   
Disease Risk:
 
Diseases:
 
Net Migration Rate per 1,000 people: 3.12
 
Nationality: SWISS
 
Ethnic Groups: German 65%, French 18%, Italian 10%, Romansch 1%, other 6% 
 
  
Primary Language: German
 
Other Languages: German (official) 63.7%, French (official) 19.2%, Italian (official) 7.6%, Romansch 0.6%, other 8.9%
 
 
Primary Religion: Roman Catholic
 
Other Religions: Roman Catholic 46.1%, Protestant 40%, other 5%, none 8.9%
 
  
 SWISS MILITARY
  Switzerland Facts |  Swiss Confederation Information | Switzerland Statistics  
  
Branches: Swiss Armed Forces: Land Forces, Swiss Air Force (Schweizer Luftwaffe); Switzerland has no navy, but maintains a fleet of military patrol boats to patrol Swiss borders
 
Manpower Fit to Serve: 19 years
 
Manpower Available: 3,369,793 People
 
Manpower Fit to Serve: 2,718,834 People
 
Amount of Manpower Available each Year: 90,148 People per year
 
Expenditures: $0 USD per year
 
Expenditures as a Percentage of GDP: 1.00
 
 
Note: Phrasebase uses a variety of sources when compiling the facts and information presented above. This information is continually updated throughout the year.
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