Europe / Caspian / CIS

Switzerland flag
Summary | Profile

Country profile: Switzerland

Location: Central Europe, east of France, north of Italy
Climate: temperate, but varies with altitude; cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters; cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers
Terrain: mostly mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) with a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes
Size: 41290 sq. km total (Land area: 39770 sq. km  Water area: 1520 sq.km)
Population: 7,581,520 (July 2008 est.)
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)
Government: formally a confederation but similar in structure to a federal republic
Capital city: Bern
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
Currency: Swiss franc (CHF)
Licensing:

Country profile

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.

Energy production and consumption


Oil Gas
Production: 3,202 bbl/day (2005 est.) NaN 
Consumption: 275,000 bbl/day (2005 est.) 3 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Exports: 11,360 bbl/day (2004 est.)  
Imports: 267,000 bbl/day (2004 est.) 3 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Reserves:    
Major fields:



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