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Switzerland (2001)

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Switzerland 2001 year

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
Age structure 0-14 years:
16.97% (male 634,030; female 601,929)

15-64 years:
67.73% (male 2,505,450; female 2,427,408)

65 years and over:
15.3% (male 453,366; female 661,091) (2001 est.)
Agriculture - products grains, fruits, vegetables; meat, eggs
Airports 67 (2000 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total:

over 3,047 m:

2,438 to 3,047 m:

1,524 to 2,437 m:

914 to 1,523 m:

under 914 m:
15 (2000 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total:

under 914 m:
25 (2000 est.)
Area total:
41,290 sq km

39,770 sq km

1,520 sq km
Area - comparative slightly less than twice the size of New Jersey
Background 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, may be rendering obsolete the country's concern for neutrality.
Birth rate 10.12 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Budget revenues:
$32.66 billion

$34.89 billion, including capital expenditures of $2.3 billion (1998 est.)
Capital Bern
Climate temperate, but varies with altitude; cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters; cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers
Coastline 0 km (landlocked)
Constitution 29 May 1874
Country name conventional long form:
Swiss Confederation

conventional short form:

local long form:
Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft (German), Confederation Suisse (French), Confederazione Svizzera (Italian)

local short form:
Schweiz (German), Suisse (French), Svizzera (Italian)
Currency Swiss franc (CHF)
Death rate 8.77 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Debt - external $NA
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission:
Ambassador J. Richard FREDERICKS

Jubilaeumstrasse 93, 3001 Bern

mailing address:
use embassy street address

[41] (31) 357 70 11

[41] (31) 357 73 44
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission:
Ambassador Alfred DEFAGO

2900 Cathedral Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

[1] (202) 745-7900

[1] (202) 387-2564

consulate(s) general:
Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco

Disputes - international none
Economic aid - donor ODA, $1.1 billion (1995)
Economy - overview Switzerland, a prosperous and stable modern market economy with a per capita GDP 20% above that of the big western European economies, experienced solid growth of 3% in 2000, but growth is expected to fall back to about 2% in 2001. The Swiss in recent years have brought their economic practices largely into conformity with the EU's to enhance their international competitiveness. Although the Swiss are not pursuing full EU membership in the near term, in 1999 Bern and Brussels signed agreements to further liberalize trade ties, and the agreements should come into force in 2001. Switzerland is still considered a safe haven for investors, because it has maintained a degree of bank secrecy and has kept up the franc's long-term external value.
Electricity - consumption 51.862 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports 31.955 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports 21.723 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production 66.768 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel:



1.97% (1999)
Elevation extremes lowest point:
Lake Maggiore 195 m

highest point:
Dufourspitze 4,634 m
Environment - current issues air pollution from vehicle emissions and open-air burning; acid rain; water pollution from increased use of agricultural fertilizers; loss of biodiversity
Environment - international agreements party to:
Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified:
Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Law of the Sea
Ethnic groups German 65%, French 18%, Italian 10%, Romansch 1%, other 6%
Exchange rates Swiss francs per US dollar - 1.6303 (January 2001), 1.6888 (2000), 1.5022 (1999), 1.4498 (1998), 1.4513 (1997), 1.2360 (1996)
Executive branch chief of state:
President Moritz LEUENBERGER (since 1 January 2001); Vice President Kaspar VILLIGER (since 1 January 2001); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government:
President Moritz LEUENBERGER (since 1 January 2001); Vice President Kaspar VILLIGER (since 1 January 2001); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

Federal Council or Bundesrat (in German), Conseil Federal (in French), Consiglio Federale (in Italian) elected by the Federal Assembly from among its own members for a four-year term

president and vice president elected by the Federal Assembly from among the members of the Federal Council for one-year terms that run concurrently; election last held 6 December 2000 (next to be held NA December 2001)

election results:
Moritz LEUENBERGER elected president; percent of Federal Assembly vote - 76%; Kaspar VILLIGER elected vice president; percent of legislative vote - 72%
Exports 31.955 billion kWh (1999)
Exports $91.3 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Exports - commodities machinery, chemicals, metals, watches, agricultural products
Exports - partners EU 65.8% (Germany 22.6%, France 9.2%, Italy 8.0%, UK 5.5%, Austria 3.2%), US 12.4%, Japan 4.0% (1999)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description red square with a bold, equilateral white cross in the center that does not extend to the edges of the flag
GDP purchasing power parity - $207 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture:


66.1% (1995)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $28,600 (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 3% (2000 est.)
Geographic coordinates 47 00 N, 8 00 E
Geography - note landlocked; crossroads of northern and southern Europe; along with southeastern France and northern Italy, contains the highest elevations in Europe
Highways total:
71,059 km (including 1,638 km of expressways)

71,059 km

0 km (1999)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%:

highest 10%:
25.2% (1992)
Illicit drugs because of more stringent government regulations, used significantly less as a money-laundering center; transit country for and consumer of South American cocaine and Southwest Asian heroin
Imports 21.723 billion kWh (1999)
Imports $91.6 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Imports - commodities machinery, chemicals, vehicles, metals; agricultural products, textiles
Imports - partners EU 77.7% (Germany 31.0%, France 12.0%, Italy 9.7%, Netherlands 5.1%, UK 5.7%), US 7.1%, Japan 2.9% (1999)
Independence 1 August 1291 (Founding of the Swiss Confederation)
Industrial production growth rate 8.6% (2000 est.)
Industries machinery, chemicals, watches, textiles, precision instruments
Infant mortality rate 4.48 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 1.5% (2000 est.)
International organization participation ACCT, AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, CCC, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EFTA, ESA, FAO, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MONUC, NAM (guest), NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN (observer), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMEE, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMOP, UNOMIG, UNTSO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 44 (Switzerland and Liechtenstein) (2000)
Irrigated land 250 sq km (1993 est.)
Judicial branch Federal Supreme Court (judges elected for six-year terms by the Federal Assembly)
Labor force 3.9 million (964,000 foreign workers, mostly Italian) (1998 est.)
Labor force - by occupation services 69.1%, industry 26.3%, agriculture 4.6% (1998 est.)
Land boundaries total:
1,852 km

border countries:
Austria 164 km, France 573 km, Italy 740 km, Liechtenstein 41 km, Germany 334 km
Land use arable land:

permanent crops:

permanent pastures:

forests and woodland:

28% (1993 est.)
Languages German (official) 63.7%, French (official) 19.2%, Italian (official) 7.6%, Romansch 0.6%, other 8.9%
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
Legislative branch bicameral Federal Assembly or Bundesversammlung (in German), Assemblee Federale (in French), Assemblea Federale (in Italian) consists of the Council of States or Standerat (in German), Conseil des Etats (in French), Consiglio degli Stati (in Italian) (46 seats - members serve four-year terms) and the National Council or Nationalrat (in German), Conseil National (in French), Consiglio Nazionale (in Italian) (200 seats - members are elected by popular vote on a basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms)

Council of States - last held in 1999 (each canton determines when the next election will be held); National Council - last held 24 October 1999 (next to be held NA October 2003)

election results:
Council of States - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - FDP 18, CVP 15, SVP 7, SPS 6; National Council - percent of vote by party - SPS 22.5%, SVP 22.6%, FDP 19.9%, CVP 15.8%, other small parties all under 5%; seats by party - SPS 51, SVP 44, FDP 43, CVP 35, Greens 9, other small parties 18
Life expectancy at birth total population:
79.73 years

76.85 years

82.76 years (2001 est.)
Literacy definition:
age 15 and over can read and write

total population:
99% (1980 est.)


Location Central Europe, east of France, north of Italy
Map references Europe
Maritime claims none (landlocked)
Merchant marine total:
24 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 435,966 GRT/780,458 DWT

ships by type:
bulk 12, cargo 6, chemical tanker 5, petroleum tanker 1

includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: UK 1 (2000 est.)
Military branches Army, Air Force, Frontier Guards, Fortification Guards
Military expenditures - dollar figure $3.1 billion (FY98)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 1.2% (FY98)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49:
1,849,034 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49:
1,570,918 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - military age 20 years of age
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males:
42,597 (2001 est.)
National holiday Founding of the Swiss Confederation, 1 August (1291)
Nationality noun:
Swiss (singular and plural)

Natural hazards avalanches, landslides, flash floods
Natural resources hydropower potential, timber, salt
Net migration rate 1.37 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Pipelines crude oil 314 km; natural gas 1,506 km
Political parties and leaders Christian Democratic People's Party (Christichdemokratische Volkspartei der Schweiz or CVP, Parti Democrate-Chretien Suisse or PDC, Partito Democratico-Cristiano Popolare Svizzero or PDC, Partida Cristiandemocratica dalla Svizra or PCD) [Adalbert DURRER, president]; Green Party (Grune Partei der Schweiz or Grune, Parti Ecologiste Suisse or Les Verts, Partito Ecologista Svizzero or I Verdi, Partida Ecologica Svizra or La Verda) [Ruedi BAUMANN, president]; Radical Free Democratic Party (Freisinnig-Demokratische Partei der Schweiz or FDP, Parti Radical-Democratique Suisse or PRD, Partitio Liberal-Radicale Svizzero or PLR) [Franz STEINEGGER, president]; Social Democratic Party (Sozialdemokratische Partei der Schweiz or SPS, Parti Socialist Suisse or PSS, Partito Socialista Svizzero or PSS, Partida Socialdemocratica de la Svizra or PSS) [Christiane BRUNNER, president]; Swiss People's Party (Schweizerische Volkspartei or SVP, Union Democratique du Centre or UDC, Unione Democratica de Centro or UDC, Uniun Democratica dal Center or UDC) [Ueli MAURER, president]; and other minor parties
Political pressure groups and leaders NA
Population 7,283,274 (July 2001 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate 0.27% (2001 est.)
Ports and harbors Basel
Radio broadcast stations AM 4, FM 113 (plus many low power stations), shortwave 2 (1998)
Radios 7.1 million (1997)
Railways total:
4,492 km (1,564 km double track)

standard gauge:
3,317 km 1.435-m gauge (3,288 km electrified)

narrow gauge:
1,165 km 1.000-m gauge (1,165 km electrified); 10 km 0.800-m gauge (1998)
Religions Roman Catholic 46.1%, Protestant 40%, other 5%, none 8.9% (1990)
Sex ratio at birth:
1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years:
1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years:
1.03 male(s)/female

65 years and over:
0.69 male(s)/female

total population:
0.97 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment:
excellent domestic and international services

extensive cable and microwave radio relay networks

satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean)
Telephones - main lines in use 4.82 million (1998)
Telephones - mobile cellular 1.967 million (1999)
Television broadcast stations 115 (plus 1,919 repeaters) (1995)
Terrain mostly mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) with a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes
Total fertility rate 1.47 children born/woman (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate 1.9% (2000 est.)
Waterways 65 km

The Rhine carries heavy traffic on the Basel-Rheinfelden and Schaffhausen-Bodensee stretches; there are also 12 navigable lakes
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