Statistical information Switzerland 1996Switzerland

Map of Switzerland | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
Military | Transportation | Transnational Issues | Year:  | More stats

Switzerland in the World
Switzerland in the World


Switzerland - Introduction 1996
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Background: Switzerland's independence and neutrality have long been honored by the major European powers and Switzerland did not participate in either World War I or II. The political and economic integration of Europe since World War II may be rendering obsolete Switzerland's concern for neutrality.

Switzerland - Geography 1996
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Location: Central Europe, east of France

Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 41,290 km²
Land: 39,770 km²
Comparative: slightly more than twice the size of New Jersey

Land boundaries: Total 1,852 km, Austria 164 km, France 573 km, Italy 740 km, Liechtenstein 41 km, Germany 334 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: None; landlocked

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

Terrain: Mostly mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) with a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes

Extremes lowest point: Lake Maggiore 195 m
Extremes highest point: Dufourspitze 4,634 m

Natural resources:
Hydropower potential

Land use

Land use
Arable land: 10%
Permanent crops: 1%
Permanent pastures: 40%
Forests and woodland: 26%
Other: 23%

Irrigated land: 250 km² (1989)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Switzerland - People 1996
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7,207,060 (July 1996 est.)
7,084,984 (July 1995 est.)

Growth rate:
0.59% (1996 est.)
0.57% (1995 est.)

Noun: Swiss (singular and plural)
Adjective: Swiss

Ethnic groups: total population:German 65%, French 18%, Italian 10%, Romansch 1%, other 6% Swiss Nationals:German 74%, French 20%, Italian 4%, Romansch 1%, other 1%

Languages: German 65%, French 18%, Italian 12%, Romansch 1%, other 4%
Note: Figures for Swiss nationals only_German 74%, French 20%, Italian 4%, Romansch 1%, other 1%

Roman Catholic 47.6%
Protestant 44.3%
Other 8.1% (1980)

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 17% (male 638,728; female 610,546) (July 1996 est.) 17% (male 622,436; female 594,565) (July 1995 est.)
15-64 years:
68% (male 2,495,325; female 2,405,226) (July 1996 est.)
68% (male 2,448,213; female 2,375,792) (July 1995 est.)

65 years and over:
15% (male 424,394; female 632,841) (July 1996 est.)
15% (female 623,136; male 420,842) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate:
0.59% (1996 est.)
0.57% (1995 est.)

Birth rate:
11.35 births/1000 population (1996 est.)
12.04 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate:
9.64 deaths/1000 population (1996 est.)
9.16 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate:
4.2 migrant(s)/1000 population (1996 est.)
2.82 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: air pollution from vehicle emissions and open air burning; acid rain; water pollution from increased use of agricultural fertilizers; loss of biodiversity
Current issues Natural hazards: avalanches, landslides, flash floods
Current issues note: Landlocked; crossroads of northern and southern Europe; along with southeastern France and northern Italy, contains the highest elevations in Europe

Air pollutants

Sex ratio: at birth:1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female
All ages:
0.98 male(s)/female (1996 est.) Infant Mortality Rate:5.4 deaths/1000 live births (1996 est.)
6.3 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 77.62 years (1996 est.), 78.36 years (1995 est.)
Male: 74.58 years (1996 est.), 74.99 years (1995 est.)
Female: 80.82 years (1996 est.), 81.88 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate:
1.47 children born/woman (1996 est.)
1.6 children born/woman (1995 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over that can read and write (1980 est.)
Total population: 99%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Switzerland - Government 1996
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Country name
Conventional long form: Swiss Confederation
Conventional short form: Switzerland
Local long form: Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft (German) Confederation Suisse (French) Confederazione Svizzera (Italian)
Local short form: Schweiz (German) Suisse (French) Svizzera (Italian)

Government type: Federal republic

Capital: Bern

Administrative divisions: 26 cantons (cantons, singular_canton in French; cantoni, singular_cantone in Italian; kantone, singular_kanton in German; Aargau, Ausser-Rhoden, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, Bern, Fribourg, Geneve, Glarus, Graubunden, Inner-Rhoden, Jura, Luzern, Neuchatel, Nidwalden, Obwalden, Sankt Gallen, Schaffhausen, Schwyz, Solothurn, Thurgau, Ticino, Uri, Valais, Vaud, Zug, Zurich

Dependent areas

Independence: 1 August 1291

National holiday: Anniversary of the Founding of the Swiss Confederation, 1 August (1291)

Constitution: 29 May 1874

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

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state and head of government: President Flavio COTTI (1998 calendar year; presidency rotates annually); the president is appointed each year from the Federal Council by the Federal Assembly
President 1996: Jean-Pascal DELAMURAZ
President 1995: Kaspar VILLIGER
Cabinet: Federal Council (German_Bundesrat, French_Censeil Federal, Italian_Consiglio Federale); elected by the Federal Assembly from own members

Legislative branch: Bicameral Federal Assembly (German_Bundesversammlung, French_Assemblee Federale, Italian_Assemblea Federale) Council of States:German_Standerat, French_Conseil des Etats, Italian_Consiglio degli Stati; elections last held throughout 1991 (next to be held NA 1995; results_percent of vote by party NA; seats_(46 total) FDP 18, CVP 16, SVP 4, SPS 3, LPS 3, LdU 1, Ticino League 1 National Council:German_Nationalrat, French_Conseil National, Italian_Consiglio Nazionale; elections last held 20 October 1991 (next to be held NA October 1995; results_percent of vote by party NA; seats_(200 total) FDP 44, SPS 42, CVP 37, SVP 25, GPS 14, LPS 10, AP 8, LdU 6, SD 5, EVP 3, PdA 2, Ticino League 2, other 2

Judicial branch: Federal Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: AfDB, AG (observer), AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, CCC, CE, CERN, EBRD, ECE, EFTA, ESA, FAO, G- 8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MTCR, NAM (guest), NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OSCE, PCA, UN (observer), UNAMIR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMOT, UNOMIG, UNPREDEP, UNPROFOR, UNTSO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of Switzerland: Red square with a bold, equilateral white cross in the center that does not extend to the edges of the flag

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Switzerland - Economy 1996
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Economy overview: Switzerland, a fundamentally prosperous and stable modern economy with a per capita GDP roughly 10% above that of the big West European economies, is experiencing short-term difficulties. After recovering slowly in 1994-95 from recession, the Swiss economy remains weak, mainly because of the strong Swiss franc and weak growth in Swiss export market, especially in other European countries. Over the near term, growth may average barely 1%, with more than one-half of this increase resulting from growth in inventories. Weak domestic consumer demand is the principal culprit; stagnation in real disposable income is combining with a reluctance to reduce saving rates in the face of an uncertain employment outlook. Switzerland's leading sectors, including financial services, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and special-purpose machines, will therefore be more reliant on export markets at the same time they are being squeezed by the strong franc. Consequently, growth in machinery and equipment investment, for example, is expected to taper off. On the other side, import growth has been fueled by the strong franc; there are growing indications that Swiss manufacturers are substituting imported inputs for domestic ones.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate:
1.2% (1995 est.)
1.8% (1994 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: Dairy farming predominates; less than 50% self-sufficient in food; must import fish, refined sugar, fats and oils (other than butter), grains, eggs, fruits, vegetables, meat

Precision instruments

Industrial production growth rate: Growth rate 0% (1993 est.)

Labor force: 3.48 million (900,000 foreign workers, mostly Italian)
By occupation Services: 50%
By occupation Industry and crafts: 34%
By occupation Government: 10%
By occupation Agriculture and forestry: 6% (1992)
Labor force

Unemployment rate:
3.3% (1995)
4.7% (1994 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $31 billion
$36.9 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1995)
$32 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (1994 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: Calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: total value. $69.6 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
Machinery and equipment
Precision instruments
Metal products
Textiles and clothing

Western Europe 63.1% (EU countries 56%
Other 7.1%)
U.S. 8.8%
Japan 3.4%

Imports: total value:$68.2 billion (c.i.f., 1994 est.)
Agricultural products
Machinery and transportation equipment
Construction materials

Western Europe 79.2% (EU countries 72.3%
Other 6.9%)
U.S. 6.4%

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: NA

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Swiss francs, franken, or franchi (SwF) per US$1: 1.1810 (January 1996), 1.1825 (1995), 1.3677 (1994), 1.4776 (1993), 1.4062 (1992), 1.4340 (1991), 1.3892 (1990)

Switzerland - Energy 1996
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 58 billion kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 6,699 kWh (1993)

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Switzerland - Communication 1996
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 5,622,976 telephones (1986 est.); excellent domestic, international, and broadcast services
Local: NA
Intercity: extensive cable and microwave networks
International: 2 INTELSAT (Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean) earth stations

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Switzerland - Military 1996
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $4.1 billion, 1.4% of GDP (1995)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Switzerland - Transportation 1996
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

With paved runways over 3047 m: 4
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 4
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 13
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 1
With paved runways under 914 m: 40

Airports with paved runways
Over 3047 m: 4
2438 to 3047 m: 4
15-24 to 2437 m: 13
914 to 1523 m: 1
Under 914 m: 40

Airports with unpaved runways


Pipelines: Crude oil 314 km; natural gas 1,506 km



Waterways: 65 km; Rhine (Basel to Rheinfelden, Schaffhausen to Bodensee; 12 navigable lakes

Merchant marine
Total: 67
Ships by type: bulk 14, cargo 1, chemical tanker 4, oil tanker 2, roll-on/roll-off cargo 1, specialized tanker 1 (1995 est.) Airports:

Ports and terminals

Switzerland - Transnational issues 1996
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: Money-laundering center


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