Switzerland

Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation (CH - from the latin Confoederatio Helvetica), is a country situated in western, central and southern Europe.

Quick facts

Population: 8,508,898 (2018 estimate)

Area: 41,285 km2

Capital: Bern (de facto)

Founding date:  1 August 1291(traditionally) 

Internet TLD (top level domain): .ch and .swiss

Currency: Swiss Franc (CHF)

 It consists of 26 cantons, and the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities.

Flag of Switzerland (ratio 1:1)

Switzerland is a federal republic bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. 

Location of Switzerland in Europe.



Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2  (land area 39,997 km2 ). 


While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8.5 million people is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centres Zürich and Geneva.

History of the Confederacy

The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the late medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes against Austria and Burgundy. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. 

The Federal Charter of 1291 agreed between the rural communes of Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden is considered the confederacy's founding document, even though similar alliances are likely to have existed decades earlier. (traditionally 1 August 1291)

The country has a history of armed neutrality going back to the Reformation; it has not been in a state of war internationally since 1815 and did not join the United Nations until 2002. Nevertheless, it pursues an active foreign policy and is frequently involved in peace-building processes around the world.

Home to various UN organisations

 In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organisations, including the second largest UN office. On the European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but not part of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Eurozone. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties.

Linguistic groups

Spanning the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, Italian and Romansh. Although the majority of the population are German-speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy, and Alpine symbolism. 

Other spellings of Switzerland 

Due to its linguistic diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names: Schweiz  (German); Suisse (French); Svizzera (Italian); and Svizra  or (Romansh).On coins and stamps, the Latin name – frequently shortened to "Helvetia" – is used instead of the four national languages.

Ranking of Switzerland Internationally 

Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product according to the IMF.

Switzerland ranks at or near the top globally in several metrics of national performance, including government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic competitiveness, and human development. Zürich and Geneva have each been ranked among the top cities in the world in terms of quality of life, with the former ranked second globally, according to Mercer.


Source adapted from: Wikipedia contributors. (2019, January 26). Switzerland. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 06:47, January 30, 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Switzerland&oldid=880346590