Switzerland facts and figures

Switzerland

Switzerland’s independence and neutrality have long been honored by the
major European powers, and Switzerland 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.

Location:

Central Europe, east of France, north of Italy

Area:

total: 41,290 sq km

water: 1,520 sq km

land: 39,770 sq km

Land boundaries:

total: 1,852 km

border countries: Austria 164 km, France 573 km, Italy 740 km, Liechtenstein
41 km, Germany 334 km

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

Land use:

arable land: 10.57%

permanent crops: 0.61%

other: 88.82% (1998 est.)

Population:

7,318,638 (July 2003 est.)

Nationality:

noun: Swiss (singular and plural)

adjective: Swiss

Languages:

German (official) 63.7%, French (official) 19.2%, Italian (official) 7.6%,
Romansch (official) 0.6%, other 8.9%