Switzerland

Swiss Confederation
  • Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft  (German)
  • Confédération suisse  (French)
  • Confederazione Svizzera  (Italian)
  • Confederaziun svizra  (Romansh)
  • Confoederatio Helvetica  (Latin)
Motto: (traditional)
"Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno" (Latin)
"One for all, all for one"
Anthem: "Swiss Psalm"
Location of  Switzerland  (green)in Europe  (green & dark grey)
Location of  Switzerland  (green)

in Europe  (green & dark grey)

Capital None (de jure)
Bern (de facto)[note 1][1][2]
46°57′N 7°27′E / 46.950°N 7.450°E / 46.950; 7.450
Largest city Zürich
Official languages German
French
Italian
Romansh
Demonym English: Swiss,
German: Schweizer(in),
French: Suisse(sse),
Italian: svizzero/svizzera, or elvetico/elvetica,
Romansh: Svizzer/Svizra
Government Federal semi-direct democracy under multi-party parliamentary directorial republic
Walter Thurnherr
Legislature Federal Assembly
Council of States
National Council
History
c. 1300[note 2] (traditionally 1 August 1291)
24 October 1648
7 August 1815
12 September 1848[note 3][3]
Area
• Total
41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi) (132nd)
• Water (%)
4.2
Population
• 2016 estimate
Increase 8,401,120[4] (99th)
• 2015 census
8,327,126[5]
• Density
202/km2 (523.2/sq mi) (63rd)
GDP (PPP) 2017 estimate
• Total
$517 billion[6] (39th)
• Per capita
$61,360[6] (9th)
GDP (nominal) 2017 estimate
• Total
$681 billion[6] (19th)
• Per capita
$80,837[6] (2nd)
Gini (2015) Positive decrease 29.5[7]
low · 19th
HDI (2015) Increase 0.939[8]
very high · 2nd
Currency Swiss franc (CHF)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
• Summer (DST)
CEST (UTC+2)
Date format dd.mm.yyyy (AD)
Drives on the right
Calling code +41
Patron saint St Nicholas of Flüe
ISO 3166 code CH
Internet TLD .ch
Website
www.admin.ch

Switzerland (/ˈswɪtsərlənd/), officially the Swiss Confederation, is a federal republic in Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, and the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities.[1][2][note 1] The country is situated in Western-Central Europe,[note 4] and is bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi) (land area 39,997 km2 (15,443 sq mi)). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately eight 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.

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 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.[9] 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 notably not part of the European Union or the European Economic Area. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties.

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,[10] and Alpine symbolism.[11][12] Due to its linguistic diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names: Schweiz [ˈʃvaɪts] (German);[note 5] Suisse [sɥis(ə)] (French); Svizzera [ˈzvittsera] (Italian); and Svizra [ˈʒviːtsrɐ] or [ˈʒviːtsʁːɐ] (Romansh).[note 6] On coins and stamps, Latin (frequently shortened to "Helvetia") is used instead of the four living languages.

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.[13][14] 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.[15]
Cite error: There are <ref group=note> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist|group=note}} template (see the help page).

  1. ^ a b Georg Kreis: Federal city in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland, 20 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b Holenstein, André (2012). "Die Hauptstadt existiert nicht" (PDF) (scientific article). UniPress – Forschung und Wissenschaft an der Universität Bern (in German) (152: Sonderfall Hauptstatdtregion). Berne: Department Communication, University of Berne: 16–19. doi:10.7892/boris.41280. Retrieved 7 May 2017. Als 1848 ein politisch-administratives Zentrum für den neuen Bundesstaat zu bestimmen war, verzichteten die Verfassungsväter darauf, eine Hauptstadt der Schweiz zu bezeichnen und formulierten stattdessen in Artikel 108: «Alles, was sich auf den Sitz der Bundesbehörden bezieht, ist Gegenstand der Bundesgesetzgebung.» Die Bundesstadt ist also nicht mehr und nicht weniger als der Sitz der Bundesbehörden. 
  3. ^ Andreas Kley: Federal constitution in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland, 3 May 2011.
  4. ^ "Bevölkerungsbestand am Ende des 2. Quartals 2016" [Recent monthly and quarterly figures: provisional data] (XLS) (official statistics) (in German, French, and Italian). Neuchâtel, Switzerland: Swiss Federal Statistical Office (FSO), Swiss Confederation. 6 October 2016. 1155-1500. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  5. ^ Jacqueline Kucera, Athena Krummenacher, eds. (22 November 2016). Switzerland's population 2015 (PDF) (official report). Swiss Statistics. Neuchâtel, Switzerland: Swiss Federal Statistical Office (FSO), Swiss Confederation. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c d "5. Report for Selected Countries and Subjects: Switzerland". Washington, DC, U.S.: International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 1 October 2017. 
  7. ^ "Gini coefficient of equivalised disposable income – EU-SILC survey" (Eurostat Data Explorer). Brussels, Belgium: European Commission. 15 November 2016. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  8. ^ "2016 Human Development Report" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2017. 
  9. ^ Thomas Fleiner, Alexander Misic, Nicole Töpperwien (5 August 2005). Swiss Constitutional Law. Kluwer Law International. p. 28. ISBN 978-9041124043. 
  10. ^ Prof. Dr. Adrian Vatter (2014). Das politische System der Schweiz [The Political System of Switzerland]. Studienkurs Politikwissenschaft (in German). Baden-Baden: UTB Verlag. ISBN 978-3-8252-4011-0. 
  11. ^ Zimmer, Oliver (12 January 2004) [originally published: October 1998]. "In Search of Natural Identity: Alpine Landscape and the Reconstruction of the Swiss Nation". Comparative Studies in Society and History. London: Society for Comparative Study of Society and History. 40 (4): 637–665. doi:10.1017/S0010417598001686 – via Cambridge Journals. 
  12. ^ Josef Lang (14 December 2015). "Die Alpen als Ideologie". Tages-Anzeiger (in German). Zürich, Switzerland. Retrieved 14 December 2015. 
  13. ^ Subir Ghosh (9 October 2010). "US is still by far the richest country, China fastest growing". Digital Journal. Canada. Retrieved 14 December 2015. 
  14. ^ Simon Bowers (19 October 2011). "Franc's rise puts Swiss top of rich list". The Guardian. London, UK. Retrieved 14 December 2015. 
  15. ^ "Swiss and German cities dominate ranking of best cities in the world". City Mayors. London, UK: Mercer Consulting. 28 April 2009. Retrieved 29 April 2010. 

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