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Switzerland (2006)

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Switzerland 2006 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: 16.3% (male 637,585/female 591,297)

15-64 years: 68.1% (male 2,585,062/female 2,539,345)

65 years and over: 15.6% (male 480,198/female 690,447) (2006 est.)
Agriculture - products grains, fruits, vegetables; meat, eggs
Airports 65 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways total: 42

over 3,047 m: 3

2,438 to 3,047 m: 4

1,524 to 2,437 m: 11

914 to 1,523 m: 8

under 914 m: 16 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 23

under 914 m: 23 (2006)
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 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. 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.
Birth rate 9.71 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Budget revenues: $138.1 billion

expenditures: $143.6 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)
Capital name: Bern

geographic coordinates: 46 57 N, 7 26 E

time 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 October
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 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 2000
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)
Death rate 8.49 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Debt - external $856 billion (30 June 2005)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Peter R. CONEWAY

embassy: Jubilaumsstrasse 93, CH-3005 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 Urs ZISWILER

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, San Francisco

consulate(s): Boston
Disputes - international none
Economic aid - donor ODA, $1.1 billion (1995)
Economy - overview Switzerland is a peaceful, 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. Switzerland remains a safehaven 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%, to 0.2% in 2002, and to -0.3% in 2003, with a small rise to 1.8% in 2004-05. Even so, unemployment has remained at less than half the EU average.
Electricity - consumption 55.86 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports 33.2 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports 30.1 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - production 63.4 billion kWh (2003)
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-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, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Ethnic groups German 65%, French 18%, Italian 10%, Romansch 1%, other 6%
Exchange rates Swiss francs per US dollar - 1.2452 (2005), 1.2435 (2004), 1.3467 (2003), 1.5586 (2002), 1.6876 (2001)
Executive branch chief of state: President Moritz LEUENBERGER (since 8 January 2006); Vice President Micheline CALMY-REY (since 8 January 2006); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Moritz LEUENBERGER (since 8 January 2006); Vice President Micheline CALMY-REY (since 8 January 2006)

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 a one-year term (they may not serve consecutive terms); election last held 7 December 2005 (next to be held December 2006)

election results: Moritz LUENBERGER elected president; percent of Federal Assembly vote - NA; Micheline CALMY-REY elected vice president; percent of legislative vote - NA
Exports 33.2 billion kWh (2003)
Exports $148.6 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports 0 cu m (2001 est.)
Exports 10,420 bbl/day (2001)
Exports - commodities machinery, chemicals, metals, watches, agricultural products
Exports - partners Germany 19.4%, US 10.9%, Italy 9.1%, France 8.7%, UK 5.4%, Spain 4.1% (2005)
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 - composition by sector agriculture: 1.5%

industry: 34%

services: 64.5% (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 1.9% (2005 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 2 (2006)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 2.6%

highest 10%: 25.2% (1992)
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 and Southwest Asian heroin
Imports 30.1 billion kWh (2003)
Imports $135 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports 3.093 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Imports 289,500 bbl/day (2001)
Imports - commodities machinery, chemicals, vehicles, metals; agricultural products, textiles
Imports - partners Germany 31.6%, Italy 10.5%, France 10%, US 5.6%, Netherlands 4.8%, Austria 4.6%, UK 4.4% (2005)
Independence 1 August 1291 (founding of the Swiss Confederation)
Industrial production growth rate 3% (2005 est.)
Industries machinery, chemicals, watches, textiles, precision instruments
Infant mortality rate total: 4.34 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 4.84 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 3.81 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 1.2% (2005 est.)
Irrigated land 250 sq km (2003)
Judicial branch Federal Supreme Court (judges elected for six-year terms by the Federal Assembly)
Labor force 3.8 million (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture: 4.6%

industry: 26.3%

services: 69.1% (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: 9.91%

permanent crops: 0.58%

other: 89.51% (2005)
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 0.5%, other 2.8% (2000 census)

note: German, French, Italian, and Romansch are all national languages, but only the first three are official languages
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 - consists of two representatives from each canton and one 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 are elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms)

elections: Council of States - last held in most cantons 19 October 2003 (each canton determines when the next election will be held); National Council - last held 19 October 2003 (next to be held October 2007)

election results: Council of States - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - CVP 15, FDP 14, SVP 8, SPS 6, other 3; National Council - percent of vote by party - SVP 26.6%, SPS 23.3%, FDP 17.3%, CVP 14.4%, Greens 7.4%, other small parties all under 5%; seats by party - SVP 55, SPS 54, FDP 36, CVP 28, Green Party 13, other small parties 14
Life expectancy at birth total population: 80.51 years

male: 77.69 years

female: 83.48 years (2006 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99%

male: 99%

female: 99% (2003 est.)
Location Central Europe, east of France, north of Italy
Map references Europe
Maritime claims none (landlocked)
Merchant marine total: 27 ships (1000 GRT or over) 492,434 GRT/810,559 DWT

by type: bulk carrier 9, cargo 10, chemical tanker 3, container 4, specialized tanker 1

foreign-owned: 2 (Monaco 2)

registered in other countries: 320 (Antigua and Barbuda 4, Bahamas 2, Belize 1, Bermuda 2, Cyprus 4, France 2, French Southern and Antarctic Lands 1, Germany 1, Indonesia 3, Liberia 7, Malta 21, Marshall Islands 13, Mauritius 2, Morocco 1, Panama 226, Portugal 3, Russia 7, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 13, Tonga 1, Turkey 1, UK 3, Vanuatu 2) (2006)
Military branches Swiss Armed Forces: Land Forces, Swiss Air Force (Schweizer Luftwaffe); Switzerland has no navy, but maintains a fleet of military patrol boats to patrol Swiss borders (2006)
Military expenditures - dollar figure $2.548 billion (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 1% (FY01)
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 3.12 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Pipelines gas 1,831 km; oil 94 km; refined products 7 km (2006)
Political parties and leaders 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]; 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) [Doris LEUTHARD, president]; Radical Free Democratic Party (Freisinnig-Demokratische Partei der Schweiz or FDP, Parti Radical-Democratique Suisse or PRD, Partitio Liberal-Radicale Svizzero or PLR) [Marianne KLEINER-SCHLAEPFER, 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) [Hans-Juerg FEHR, 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 7,523,934 (July 2006 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate 0.43% (2006 est.)
Radio broadcast stations AM 4, FM 113 (plus many low power stations), shortwave 2 (1998)
Railways total: 4,583 km

standard gauge: 3,234 km 1.435-m gauge (3,223 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 1,339 km 1.000-m gauge (1,338 km electrified); 10 km 0.800-m gauge (10 km electrified) (2005)
Religions Roman Catholic 41.8%, Protestant 35.3%, Orthodox 1.8%, other Christian 0.4%, Muslim 4.3%, other 1%, unspecified 4.3%, none 11.1% (2000 census)
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.08 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female

total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2006 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: country code - 41; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean)
Telephones - main lines in use 5.123 million (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular 6.847 million (2005)
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 1.43 children born/woman (2006 est.)
Unemployment rate 3.8% (2005 est.)
Waterways 65 km (Rhine River between Basel-Rheinfelden and Schaffhausen-Bodensee) (2003)
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