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Switzerland (2002)

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Switzerland 2002 year

Administrative divisions 26 cantons (cantons, singular - canton in French; cantoni, singular - cantone in Italian; kantone, singular - kanton in German); Aargau, Appenzell Ausser-Rhoden, Appenzell Inner-Rhoden, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, Bern, Fribourg, Geneve, Glarus, Graubunden, Jura, Luzern, Neuchatel, Nidwalden, Obwalden, Sankt Gallen, Schaffhausen, Schwyz, Solothurn, Thurgau, Ticino, Uri, Valais, Vaud, Zug, Zurich
Age structure 0-14 years: 16.8% (male 629,513; female 597,472)

15-64 years: 67.7% (male 2,512,273; female 2,433,396)

65 years and over: 15.5% (male 461,722; female 667,618) (2002 est.)
Agriculture - products grains, fruits, vegetables; meat, eggs
Airports 66 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways total: 41

over 3,047 m: 3

2,438 to 3,047 m: 5

1,524 to 2,437 m: 10

914 to 1,523 m: 9

under 914 m: 14 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 25

under 914 m: 24 (2002)
Area total: 41,290 sq km

land: 39,770 sq km

water: 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 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.
Birth rate 9.84 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Budget revenues: $30 billion

expenditures: $30 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 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: Switzerland

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 8.79 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Debt - external $NA
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Mercer REYNOLDS III

embassy: Jubilaeumsstrasse 93, 3001 Bern

mailing address: use embassy street address

telephone: [41] (031) 357 70 11

FAX: [41] (031) 357 73 44
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador Christian BLICKENSTORFER

chancery: 2900 Cathedral Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 745-7900

FAX: [1] (202) 387-2564

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

consulate(s): Boston
Disputes - international none
Economic aid - donor ODA, $1.1 billion (1995) (1995)
Economy - overview Switzerland is a prosperous and stable modern market economy with low unemployment, a highly skilled labor force, and a per capita GDP larger than that of the big western European economies. 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. They continue to discuss further areas for cooperation. Switzerland remains 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. Reflecting the anemic economic conditions of Europe, GDP growth dropped in 2001 to about 0.8% and to about 0% in 2002.
Electricity - consumption 52.62 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports 31.4 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports 24.33 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production 64.182 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel: 4%

hydro: 57%

nuclear: 37%

other: 2% (2000)
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 - 1.6668 (January 2002), 1.6876 (2001), 1.6888 (2000), 1.5022 (1999), 1.4498 (1998), 1.4513 (1997)
Executive branch chief of state: President Pascal COUCHEPIN (since 1 January 2003); Vice President Ruth METZLER (since 1 January 2003); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Pascal COUCHEPIN (since 1 January 2003); Vice President Ruth METZLER (since 1 January 2003); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

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

elections: 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 NA December 2002 (next to be held NA December 2003)

election results: Pascal COUCHEPIN elected president; percent of Federal Assembly vote - NA%; Ruth METZLER elected vice president; percent of legislative vote - NA%
Exports 31.4 billion kWh (2000)
Exports $100.3 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities machinery, chemicals, metals, watches, agricultural products
Exports - partners EU 61% (Germany 22.2%, France 9%, Italy 8%, UK 5.3%), US 10.6%, Japan 3.9% (2001)
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 - $231 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 2%

industry: 34%

services: 64% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $31,700 (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 2% (2002 est.)
Geographic coordinates 47 00 N, 8 00 E
Geography - note landlocked; crossroads of northern and southern Europe; along with southeastern France, northern Italy, and southwestern Austria, has the highest elevations in the Alps
Heliports 1 (2002)
Highways total: 71,059 km (including 1,638 km of expressways)

paved: 71,059 km

unpaved: 0 km (1999)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 3%

highest 10%: 25% (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 24.33 billion kWh (2000)
Imports $94.4 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities machinery, chemicals, vehicles, metals; agricultural products, textiles
Imports - partners EU 79.9% (Germany 32.2%, France 11%, Italy 10.2%, Netherlands 5.9%, UK 4.6%), US 5.1% (2001)
Independence 1 August 1291 (Founding of the Swiss Confederation)
Industrial production growth rate 3.2% (2001)
Industries machinery, chemicals, watches, textiles, precision instruments
Infant mortality rate 4.42 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 0.5% (2002 est.)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 44 (Switzerland and Liechtenstein) (2000)
Irrigated land 250 sq km (1998 est.)
Judicial branch Federal Supreme Court (judges elected for six-year terms by the Federal Assembly)
Labor force 4 million (2001)
Labor force - by occupation services 69%, industry 26%, agriculture 5% (1998)
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: 10.57%

permanent crops: 0.61%

other: 88.82% (1998 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 the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms)

elections: Council of States - last held NA 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, Green Party 9, other small parties 18
Life expectancy at birth total population: 79.86 years

male: 76.98 years

female: 82.89 years (2002 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99% (1980 est.)

male: NA%

female: NA%
Location Central Europe, east of France, north of Italy
Map references Europe
Maritime claims none (landlocked)
Merchant marine total: 26 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 509,943 GRT/896,309 DWT

ships by type: bulk 15, cargo 6, chemical tanker 4, petroleum tanker 1

note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience:, United Kingdom 6, United States 1 (2002 est.)
Military branches Army, Air Force, Frontier Guards, Fortification Guards
Military expenditures - dollar figure $2.548 billion (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 1% (FY01)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49: 1,841,867 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49: 1,561,689 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - military age 20 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males: 42,597 (2002 est.)
National holiday Founding of the Swiss Confederation, 1 August (1291)
Nationality noun: Swiss (singular and plural)

adjective: Swiss
Natural hazards avalanches, landslides, flash floods
Natural resources hydropower potential, timber, salt
Net migration rate 1.37 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 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) [Philipp STAEHELIN, 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) [Ruth GENNER and Patrice MUGNY, co-presidents]; Radical Free Democratic Party (Freisinnig-Demokratische Partei der Schweiz or FDP, Parti Radical-Democratique Suisse or PRD, Partitio Liberal-Radicale Svizzero or PLR) [Gerold BUEHRER, 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 7,301,994 (July 2002 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate 0.24% (2002 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: 4,406 km

standard gauge: 3,440 km 1.435-m gauge

narrow gauge: 900 km 1.000-m gauge; 10 km 0.800-m gauge

dual gauge: 56 km 1.435-m and 1.000-m gauges (3 rail system)

note: Swiss railways are virtually all electrified (2001)
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 (2002 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: excellent domestic and international services

domestic: extensive cable and microwave radio relay networks

international: 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 (2002 est.)
Unemployment rate 1.9% (2002 est.)
Waterways 65 km

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