- Introduction ::SwitzerlandBackground: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.Geography ::SwitzerlandLocation:Central Europe, east of France, north of ItalyGeographic coordinates:47 00 N, 8 00 EArea:total: 41,277 sq kmcountry comparison to the world: 136land: 39,997 sq kmwater: 1,280 sq kmArea - comparative:slightly less than twice the size of New JerseyLand boundaries:total: 1,852 kmborder countries: Austria 164 km, France 573 km, Italy 740 km, Liechtenstein 41 km, Germany 334 kmCoastline: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 showersTerrain:mostly mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) with a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakesElevation extremes:lowest point: Lake Maggiore 195 mhighest point: Dufourspitze 4,634 mNatural resources:hydropower potential, timber, saltLand use:arable land: 9.8%permanent crops: 0.57%other: 89.63% (2011)Irrigated land:550 sq km (2007)Total renewable water resources:53.5 cu km (2011)Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):total: 2.61 cu km/yr (39%/58%/3%)per capita: 360.3 cu m/yr (2010)Natural hazards:avalanches, landslides; flash floodsEnvironment - current issues:air pollution from vehicle emissions and open-air burning; acid rain; water pollution from increased use of agricultural fertilizers; loss of biodiversityEnvironment - international agreements:party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whalingsigned, but not ratified: Law of the SeaGeography - note:landlocked; crossroads of northern and southern Europe; along with southeastern France, northern Italy, and southwestern Austria, has the highest elevations in the AlpsPeople and Society ::SwitzerlandNationality:noun: Swiss (singular and plural)adjective: SwissEthnic groups:German 65%, French 18%, Italian 10%, Romansch 1%, other 6%Languages:German (official) 63.7%, French (official) 20.4%, Italian (official) 6.5%, Serbo-Croatian 1.5%, Albanian 1.3%, Portuguese 1.2%, Spanish 1.1%, English 1%, Romansch (official) 0.5%, other 2.8% (2000 census)note: German, French, Italian, and Romansch are all national and official languagesReligions:Roman Catholic 41.8%, Protestant 35.3%, Muslim 4.3%, Orthodox 1.8%, other Christian 0.4%, other 1%, unspecified 4.3%, none 11.1% (2000 census)Population:7,996,026 (July 2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 95Age structure:0-14 years: 15.2% (male 624,601/female 588,725)15-24 years: 11.6% (male 471,401/female 453,568)25-54 years: 44% (male 1,766,228/female 1,749,672)55-64 years: 12% (male 476,495/female 479,642)65 years and over: 17.3% (male 600,754/female 784,940) (2013 est.)Dependency ratios:total dependency ratio: 48.1 %youth dependency ratio: 21.9 %elderly dependency ratio: 26.2 %potential support ratio: 3.8 (2013)Median age:total: 41.8 yearsmale: 40.8 yearsfemale: 42.7 years (2013 est.)Population growth rate:0.85% (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 129Birth rate:10.45 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 184Death rate:8.08 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 95Net migration rate:6.14 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 19Urbanization:urban population: 74% of total population (2010)rate of urbanization: 0.5% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)Major urban areas - population:Zurich 1.143 million; BERN (capital) 346,000 (2009)Sex ratio:at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female55-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/femaletotal population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2013 est.)Mother's mean age at first birth:30.2 (2010 est.)Maternal mortality rate:8 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)country comparison to the world: 160Infant mortality rate:total: 3.8 deaths/1,000 live birthscountry comparison to the world: 202male: 4.21 deaths/1,000 live birthsfemale: 3.36 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)Life expectancy at birth:total population: 82.28 yearscountry comparison to the world: 8male: 79.99 yearsfemale: 84.71 years (2013 est.)Total fertility rate:1.53 children born/woman (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 187Contraceptive prevalence rate:82%note: percent of women aged 20-49 (1994/95)Health expenditures:11.5% of GDP (2010)country comparison to the world: 13Physicians density:4.07 physicians/1,000 population (2009)Hospital bed density:5.2 beds/1,000 population (2009)Drinking water source:improved:urban: 100% of populationrural: 100% of populationtotal: 100% of population (2010 est.)Sanitation facility access:improved:urban: 100% of populationrural: 100% of populationtotal: 100% of population (2010 est.)HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:0.4% (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 77HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:18,000 (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 80HIV/AIDS - deaths:fewer than 100 (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 139Obesity - adult prevalence rate:17.5% (2008)country comparison to the world: 111Education expenditures:5.4% of GDP (2009)country comparison to the world: 61Literacy:definition: age 15 and over can read and writetotal population: 99%male: 99%female: 99% (2003 est.)School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):total: 16 yearsmale: 16 yearsfemale: 16 years (2011)Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:total: 7.7%country comparison to the world: 120male: 7.6%female: 7.9% (2011)Government ::SwitzerlandCountry name:conventional long form: Swiss Confederationconventional short form: Switzerlandlocal long form: Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft (German); Confederation Suisse (French); Confederazione Svizzera (Italian); Confederaziun Svizra (Romansh)local short form: Schweiz (German); Suisse (French); Svizzera (Italian); Svizra (Romansh)Government type:formally a confederation but similar in structure to a federal republicCapital:name: Berngeographic coordinates: 46 55 N, 7 28 Etime difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in OctoberAdministrative divisions:26 cantons (cantons, singular - canton in French; cantoni, singular - cantone in Italian; Kantone, singular - Kanton in German); Aargau, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, Bern, Fribourg, Geneve, Glarus, Graubuenden, Jura, Luzern, Neuchatel, Nidwalden, Obwalden, Sankt Gallen, Schaffhausen, Schwyz, Solothurn, Thurgau, Ticino, Uri, Valais, Vaud, Zug, Zuerichnote: 6 of the cantons - Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, Nidwalden, Obwalden - are referred to as half cantons because they elect only one member to the Council of States and, in popular referendums where a majority of popular votes and a majority of cantonal votes are required, these six cantons only have a half voteIndependence:1 August 1291 (founding of the Swiss Confederation)National holiday:Founding of the Swiss Confederation, 1 August (1291)Constitution:revision of Constitution of 1874 approved by the Federal Parliament 18 December 1998, adopted by referendum 18 April 1999, officially entered into force 1 January 2000Legal system:civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts, except for federal decrees of a general obligatory characterInternational law organization participation:accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdictionSuffrage:18 years of age; universalExecutive branch:chief of state: President of the Swiss Confederation Ueli MAURER; Vice President Didier BURKHALTER; note - the Federal Council, which is comprised of seven federal councillors, constitutes the federal government of Switzerland; council members rotate in one-year terms as federal president (chief of state and head of government)head of government: President of the Swiss Confederation Ueli MAURER (since 1 January 2013); Vice President Didier BURKHALTER (since 1 January 2013)cabinet: Federal Council or Bundesrat (in German), Conseil Federal (in French), Consiglio Federale (in Italian) is elected by the Federal Assembly usually from among its members for a four-year term(For more information visit the World Leaders website )elections: president and vice president elected by the Federal Assembly from among the members of the Federal Council for a one-year term (they may not serve consecutive terms); election last held on 5 December 2012 (next to be held in early December 2013)election results: Ueli MAURER elected president; number of Federal Assembly votes - 148 of 202; Didier BURKHALTER elected vice presidentLegislative branch:bicameral Federal Assembly or Bundesversammlung (in German), Assemblee Federale (in French), Assemblea Federale (in Italian) consists of the Council of States or Staenderat (in German), Conseil des Etats (in French), Consiglio degli Stati (in Italian) (46 seats; membership consists of 2 representatives from each canton and 1 from each half canton; members serve four-year terms) and the National Council or Nationalrat (in German), Conseil National (in French), Consiglio Nazionale (in Italian) (200 seats; members elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation serve four-year terms)elections: Council of States - last held in most cantons on 23 October 2011 (each canton determines when the next election will be held); National Council - last held on 23 October 2011 (next to be held in October 2015)election results: Council of States - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CVP 13, FDP 11, SVP 5, SPS 11, other 6; National Council - percent of vote by party - SVP 26.6%, SPS 18.7%, FDP 15.1%, CVP 12.3%, Green Party 8.4%, GLP 5.4%, BDP 5.4%, other 8.1%; seats by party - SVP 54, SPS 46, FDP 30, CVP 28, Green Party 15, GLP 12, BDP 9, other small parties 6Judicial branch:highest court(s): Federal Supreme Court (consists of 38 judges and 31 substitutes and organized into 5 sections)judge selection and term of office: judges elected by the Federal Assembly for 6-year terms; note - judges are affiliated with political parties and are elected according to linguistic and regional criteria in approximate proportion to the level of party representation in the Federal Assemblysubordinate courts: Federal Criminal Court (began in 2004); Federal Administrative Court (began in 2007); note - each of Switzerland's 26 cantons has its own courtsPolitical parties and leaders:Christian Democratic People's Party (Christlichdemokratische Volkspartei der Schweiz or CVP, Parti Democrate-Chretien Suisse or PDC, Partito Popolare Democratico Svizzero or PPD, Partida Cristiandemocratica dalla Svizra or PCD) [Christophe DARBELLAY]Conservative Democratic Party (Buergerlich-Demokratische Partei Schweiz or BDP, Parti Bourgeois Democratique Suisse or PBD, Partito Borghese Democratico Svizzero or PBD, Partido burgais democratica Svizera or PBD) [Martin LANDOLT]Free Democratic Party or FDP.The Liberals (FDP.Die Liberalen, PLR.Les Liberaux-Radicaux, PLR.I Liberali, Ils Liberals) [Philipp MUELLER]Green Liberal Party (Grunliberale or GLP, Parti vert liberale or PVL, Partito Verde-Liberale or PVL, Partida Verde Liberale or PVL) [Martin BAEUMLE]Green Party (Gruene Partei der Schweiz or Gruene, Parti Ecologiste Suisse or Les Verts, Partito Ecologista Svizzero or I Verdi, Partida Ecologica Svizra or La Verda) [Adele THORENS]Social Democratic Party (Sozialdemokratische Partei der Schweiz or SPS, Parti Socialiste Suisse or PSS, Partito Socialista Svizzero or PSS, Partida Socialdemocratica de la Svizra or PSS) [Christian LEVRAT]Swiss People's Party (Schweizerische Volkspartei or SVP, Union Democratique du Centre or UDC, Unione Democratica di Centro or UDC, Uniun Democratica dal Center or UDC) [Toni BRUNNER]and other minor partiesPolitical pressure groups and leaders:NAInternational organization participation:ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Australia Group, BIS, CD, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EFTA, EITI (implementing country), ESA, FAO, FATF, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAIA (observer), MIGA, MONUSCO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMISS, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZCDiplomatic representation in the US:chief of mission: Ambassador Manuel SAGERchancery: 2900 Cathedral Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008telephone:  (202) 745-7900FAX:  (202) 387-2564consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Franciscoconsulate(s): BostonDiplomatic representation from the US:chief of mission: Ambassador Donald S. BEYER, Jr.embassy: Sulgeneckstrasse 19, CH-3007 Bernmailing address: use embassy street addresstelephone:  (031) 357-70-11FAX:  (031) 357-73-44Flag description:red square with a bold, equilateral white cross in the center that does not extend to the edges of the flag; various medieval legends purport to describe the origin of the flag; a white cross used as identification for troops of the Swiss Confederation is first attested at the Battle of Laupen (1339)National symbol(s):Swiss cross (white cross on red field; arms equal length)National anthem:name: ""Schweizerpsalm"" [German] ""Cantique Suisse"" [French] ""Salmo svizzero,"" [Italian] ""Psalm svizzer"" [Romansch] (Swiss Psalm)lyrics/music: Leonhard WIDMER [German], Charles CHATELANAT [French], Camillo VALSANGIACOMO [Italian], and Flurin CAMATHIAS [Romansch]/Alberik ZWYSSIGnote: unofficially adopted 1961, official adoption 1981; the anthem has been popular in a number of Swiss cantons since its composition (in German) in 1841; translated into the other three official languages of the country (French, Italian, and Romansch), it is official in each of those languagesEconomy ::SwitzerlandEconomy - overview:Switzerland is a peaceful, prosperous, and modern market economy with low unemployment, a highly skilled labor force, and a per capita GDP among the highest in the world. Switzerland's economy benefits from a highly developed service sector, led by financial services, and a manufacturing industry that specializes in high-technology, knowledge-based production. Its economic and political stability, transparent legal system, exceptional infrastructure, efficient capital markets, and low corporate tax rates also make Switzerland one of the world's most competitive economies. The Swiss have brought their economic practices largely into conformity with the EU's to enhance their international competitiveness, but some trade protectionism remains, particularly for its small agricultural sector. The fate of the Swiss economy is tightly linked to that of its neighbors in the euro zone, which purchases half of all Swiss exports. The global financial crisis of 2008 and resulting economic downturn in 2009 stalled export demand and put Switzerland in a recession. The Swiss National Bank (SNB) during this period effectively implemented a zero-interest rate policy to boost the economy as well as prevent appreciation of the franc, and Switzerland's economy recovered in 2010 with 3.0% growth. The sovereign debt crises currently unfolding in neighboring euro-zone countries pose a significant risk to Switzerland's financial stability and are driving up demand for the Swiss franc by investors seeking a safe-haven currency. The independent SNB has upheld its zero-interest rate policy and conducted major market interventions to prevent further appreciation of the Swiss franc, but parliamentarians have urged it to do more to weaken the currency. The franc's strength has made Swiss exports less competitive and weakened the country's growth outlook; GDP growth fell to 1.9% in 2011 and 0.8% in 2012. Switzerland has also come under increasing pressure from individual neighboring countries, the EU, the US, and international institutions to reform its banking secrecy laws. Consequently, the government agreed to conform to OECD regulations on administrative assistance in tax matters, including tax evasion. The government has renegotiated its double taxation agreements with numerous countries, including the US, to incorporate the OECD standard, and is considering the possibility of imposing taxes on bank deposits held by foreigners. These steps will have a lasting impact on Switzerland's long history of bank secrecy.GDP (purchasing power parity):$369.4 billion (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 37$365.8 billion (2011 est.)$358.9 billion (2010 est.)note: data are in 2012 US dollarsGDP (official exchange rate):$632.4 billion (2012 est.)GDP - real growth rate:1% (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 1611.9% (2011 est.)3% (2010 est.)GDP - per capita (PPP):$46,200 (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 16$46,000 (2011 est.)$45,600 (2010 est.)note: data are in 2012 US dollarsGross national saving:29.4% of GDP (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 2726.2% of GDP (2011 est.)33.4% of GDP (2010 est.)GDP - composition, by end use:household consumption: 58%government consumption: 11.2%investment in fixed capital: 20%investment in inventories: 1.1%exports of goods and services: 51.1%imports of goods and services: -41%(2012 est.)GDP - composition, by sector of origin:agriculture: 1.4%industry: 28%services: 70.6% (2012 est.)Agriculture - products:grains, fruits, vegetables; meat, eggsIndustries:machinery, chemicals, watches, textiles, precision instruments, tourism, banking, and insuranceIndustrial production growth rate:2% (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 101Labor force:4.954 million (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 77Labor force - by occupation:agriculture: 3.4%industry: 23.4%services: 73.2% (2010)Unemployment rate:2.9% (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 222.8% (2011 est.)Population below poverty line:7.9% (2010)Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: 7.5%highest 10%: 19% (2007)Distribution of family income - Gini index:29.6 (2010)country comparison to the world: 11733.1 (1992)Budget:revenues: $212.6 billionexpenditures: $212.9 billionnote: includes federal, cantonal, and municipal accounts (2012 est.)Taxes and other revenues:33.6% of GDP (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 72Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):0% of GDP (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 46Public debt:52.4% of GDP (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 5854.5% of GDP (2010)note: general government gross debt; gross debt consists of all liabilities that require payment or payments of interest and/or principal by the debtor to the creditor at a date or dates in the future; includes debt liabilities in the form of SDRs, currency and deposits, debt securities, loans, insurance, pensions and standardized guarantee schemes, and other accounts payable; all liabilities in the GFSM 2001 system are debt, except for equity and investment fund shares and financial derivatives and employee stock optionsFiscal year:calendar yearInflation rate (consumer prices):-0.7% (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 30.2% (2011 est.)Central bank discount rate:0.5% (31 December 2010 est.)country comparison to the world: 1320.75% (31 December 2009 est.)Commercial bank prime lending rate:2.69% (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 1792.72% (31 December 2011 est.)Stock of narrow money:$534.5 billion (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 11$464.8 billion (31 December 2011 est.)Stock of broad money:$1.166 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 15$1.05 trillion (31 December 2011 est.)Stock of domestic credit:$1.247 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 15$1.159 trillion (31 December 2011 est.)Market value of publicly traded shares:$932.2 billion (31 December 2011)country comparison to the world: 12$1.229 trillion (31 December 2010)$1.071 trillion (31 December 2009)Current account balance:$66.5 billion (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 9$74.06 billion (2011 est.)Exports:$333.4 billion (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 17$345.6 billion (2011 est.)note: trade data exclude trade with SwitzerlandExports - commodities:machinery, chemicals, metals, watches, agricultural productsExports - partners:Germany 19.8%, US 11.1%, Italy 7.2%, France 7.1%, UK 5.4% (2012)Imports:$287.7 billion (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 19$320.4 billion (2011 est.)Imports - commodities:machinery, chemicals, vehicles, metals; agricultural products, textilesImports - partners:Germany 29.7%, Italy 10.2%, France 8.4%, US 5.6%, China 5.6%, Austria 4.2% (2012)Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$531.1 billion (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 6$331.9 billion (31 December 2011 est.)Debt - external:$1.563 trillion (31 December 2012)country comparison to the world: 12$1.424 trillion (31 December 2011)Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:$641.6 billion (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 10$621.9 billion (31 December 2011 est.)Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:$1.041 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 7$994.1 billion (31 December 2011 est.)Exchange rates:Swiss francs (CHF) per US dollar -0.9374 (2012 est.)0.8876 (2011 est.)1.0429 (2010 est.)1.0881 (2009)1.0774 (2008)Energy ::SwitzerlandElectricity - production:62.88 billion kWh (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 42Electricity - consumption:60.42 billion kWh (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 41Electricity - exports:80.71 billion kWh (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 1Electricity - imports:83.3 billion kWh (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 1Electricity - installed generating capacity:17.7 million kW (2010 est.)country comparison to the world: 39Electricity - from fossil fuels:2.5% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 201Electricity - from nuclear fuels:16.6% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 15Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:69.2% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 23Electricity - from other renewable sources:2.5% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 51Crude oil - production:0 bbl/day (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 191Crude oil - exports:0 bbl/day (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 188Crude oil - imports:258,200 bbl/day (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 27Crude oil - proved reserves:0 bbl (1 January 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 190Refined petroleum products - production:103,500 bbl/day (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 74Refined petroleum products - consumption:258,200 bbl/day (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 50Refined petroleum products - exports:9,851 bbl/day (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 85Refined petroleum products - imports:176,500 bbl/day (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 30Natural gas - production:0 cu m (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 194Natural gas - consumption:3.681 billion cu m (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 67Natural gas - exports:0 cu m (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 185Natural gas - imports:3.681 billion cu m (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 37Natural gas - proved reserves:0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 194Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:45.55 million Mt (2010 est.)country comparison to the world: 64Communications ::SwitzerlandTelephones - main lines in use:4.613 million (2011)country comparison to the world: 34Telephones - mobile cellular:10.122 million (2011)country comparison to the world: 75Telephone system:general assessment: highly developed telecommunications infrastructure with excellent domestic and international servicesdomestic: ranked among leading countries for fixed-line teledensity and infrastructure; mobile-cellular subscribership roughly 125 per 100 persons; extensive cable and microwave radio relay networksinternational: country code - 41; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean) (2011)Broadcast media:the publicly owned radio and TV broadcaster, Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SRG/SSR), operates 7 national TV networks, 3 broadcasting in German, 2 in Italian, and 2 in French; private commercial TV stations broadcast regionally and locally; TV broadcasts from stations in Germany, Italy, and France are widely available via multi-channel cable and satellite TV services; SRG/SSR operates 18 radio stations that, along with private broadcasters, provide national to local coverage (2009)Internet country code:.chInternet hosts:5.301 million (2012)country comparison to the world: 20Internet users:6.152 million (2009)country comparison to the world: 42Transportation ::SwitzerlandAirports:63 (2013)country comparison to the world: 78Airports - with paved runways:total: 40over 3,047 m: 32,438 to 3,047 m: 21,524 to 2,437 m: 12914 to 1,523 m: 6under 914 m: 17 (2013)Airports - with unpaved runways:total: 23under 914 m:23 (2013)Heliports:2 (2013)Pipelines:gas 1,800 km; oil 94 km; refined products 7 km (2013)Railways:total: 4,876 kmcountry comparison to the world: 37standard gauge: 3,846 km 1.435-m gauge (3,591 km electrified)narrow gauge: 1,020 km 1.000-m gauge (1,013 km electrified); 10 km 0.800-m gauge (10 km electrified) (2008)Roadways:total: 71,454 kmcountry comparison to the world: 66paved: 71,454 km (includes 1,790 of expressways) (2010)Waterways:1,292 km (there are 1,227 km of waterways on lakes and rivers for public transport and another 65 km on the Rhine River between Basel-Rheinfelden and Schaffhausen-Bodensee used for the transport of commercial goods) (2010)country comparison to the world: 58Merchant marine:total: 38country comparison to the world: 78by type: bulk carrier 19, cargo 9, chemical tanker 5, container 4, petroleum tanker 1registered in other countries: 127 (Antigua and Barbuda 7, Bahamas 1, Belize 1, Cayman Islands 1, France 5, Germany 2, Hong Kong 5, Italy 13, Liberia 25, Luxembourg 1, Malta 20, Marshall Islands 12, NZ 2, Panama 15, Portugal 3, Russia 3, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 7, Singapore 3, Spain 1) (2010)Ports and terminals:BaselMilitary ::SwitzerlandMilitary branches:Swiss Armed Forces: Land Forces, Swiss Air Force (Schweizer Luftwaffe) (2013)Military service age and obligation:19-26 years of age for male compulsory military service; 18 years of age for voluntary male and female military service; every Swiss male has to serve at least 260 days in the armed forces; conscripts receive 18 weeks of mandatory training, followed by seven 3-week intermittent recalls for training during the next 10 years (2012)Manpower available for military service:males age 16-49: 1,828,043females age 16-49: 1,786,552 (2010 est.)Manpower fit for military service:males age 16-49: 1,493,509females age 16-49: 1,459,450 (2010 est.)Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:male: 46,562female: 42,585 (2010 est.)Military expenditures:1% of GDP (2005 est.)country comparison to the world: 128Transnational Issues ::SwitzerlandDisputes - international:noneRefugees and internally displaced persons:refugees (country of origin): 10,981 (Eritrea) (2012)stateless persons: 69 (2012)Illicit drugs: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"
The World Factbook. 2014.
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Switzerland — [swit′sər lənd] country in WC Europe, in the Alps: 15,880 sq mi (41,129 sq km); pop. 6,366,000; cap. Bern: Ger. name SCHWEIZ, Fr. name SUISSE … English World dictionary
Switzerland — Swiss redirects here. For other uses, see Swiss (disambiguation). Swiss Confederation redirects here. For Swiss Confederacy, see Old Swiss Confederacy. This article is about the country. For other uses, see Switzerland (disambiguation). Swiss… … Wikipedia
Switzerland — /swit seuhr leuhnd/, n. a republic in central Europe. 7,248,984; 15,944 sq. mi. (41,294 sq. km). Cap.: Bern. French, Suisse. German, Schweiz. Italian, Svizzera. Latin, Helvetia. * * * Switzerland Introduction Switzerland Background: Switzerland s … Universalium
Switzerland — In the past two centuries, Switzerland has provided asylum to political refugees. Prior to the outbreak of World War II, the Swiss welcomed thousands of refugees, including Jews, seeking to escape the Nazis. Some Jews also placed money in… … Historical dictionary of the Holocaust