Population: 8 061 516

GDP: 679 000 000 000.00 $

Companies & Organizations: 61


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.


Population: 8,061,516 (2014).


Nationality: noun: Swiss (singular and plural), adjective: Swiss.


Ethnic groups: German 65%, French 18%, Italian 10%, Romansch 1%, other 6%.


Languages: German (official) 64.9%, French (official) 22.6%, Italian (official) 8.3%, Serbo-Croatian 2.5%, Albanian 2.6%, Portuguese 3.4%, Spanish 2.2%, English 4.6%, Romansch (official) 0.5%, other 5.1%.  German, French, Italian, and Romansch are all national and official languages; totals more than 100% because some respondents indicated more than one main principal language.


Religions: Roman Catholic 38.2%, Protestant 26.9%, Muslim 4.9%, other Christian 5.7%, other 1.6%, none 21.4%, unspecified 1.3%.



GDP: $ 679 000 000 000.00 (2014).


Swiss Armed Forces: Land Forces, Swiss Air Force (Schweizer Luftwaffe).


Switzerland is 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.


Capital: Bern


Location: Central Europe, east of France, north of Italy. Landlocked; crossroads of northern and southern Europe; along with southeastern France, northern Italy, and southwestern Austria, has the highest elevations in the Alps.


Geographic coordinates:

47 00 N, 8 00 E.



total: 41,277 sq km

land: 39,997 sq km

water: 1,280 sq km.


Land boundaries:

total: 1,770 km

border countries: Austria 158 km, France 525 km, Italy 698 km, Liechtenstein 41 km, Germany 348 km.


Coastline: 0 km (landlocked).


Natural resources: hydropower potential, timber, salt.