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Schweiz



Bern
8 190 229 (2014)
41 277 km2
15 937 mi2
4 634 m
15 203 ft
Dufourspitze

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.
  • temperate, but varies with altitude
  • cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters
  • cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers

Europe
Western Europe

Central Europe, east of France, north of Italy

  • landlocked
  • crossroads of northern and southern Europe
  • along with southeastern France, northern Italy, and southwestern Austria, has the highest elevations in the Alps

  • mostly mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) with a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes

Dufourspitze
4 634 m
15 203 ft
Lake Maggiore
195 m
640 ft
Dufourspitze Mount Everest
  • hydropower potential
  • timber
  • salt
Avalanches, landslides; flash floods
  • air pollution from vehicle emissions and open-air burning
  • acid rain
  • water pollution from increased use of agricultural fertilizers
  • loss of biodiversity

41 277 km2
15 937 mi2
39 997 km2
15 443 mi2
1 280 km2
494 mi2
0.14 % 0.09 % 0.41 % 0.17 % 0.23 % 0.54 % 0.29 % 0.01 %
1770 km
1100 mi
Austria 158 km/98 mi
France 525 km/326 mi
Italy 698 km/434 mi
Liechtenstein 41 km/25 mi
Germany 348 km/216 mi

0 km/0 mi

31.50 %

10.20 %

38.60 %
  • grains, fruits, vegetables
  • meat, eggs
  • machinery
  • chemicals
  • watches
  • textiles
  • precision instruments
  • tourism
  • banking
  • insurance

8 190 229

+1.24%

50.5 %

49.5 %
0-14

14.8 %
15-64

67.4 %
65+

17.8 %

198.42 / km2
513.91 / mi2

73.84%
6 047 993

26%
2 142 236

80.70 yrs

84.90 Jahre

82.82 Jahre
0.74 % 0.19 % 1.1 % 1.55 % 2.11 % 21.72 % 0.11 %
  • German (official) 64.9%
  • French (official) 22.6%
  • Italian (official) 8.3%
  • Serbo-Croatian 2.5%
  • Albanian 2.6%
  • Portuguese 3.4%
  • Spanish 2.2%
  • English 4.6%
  • Romansch (official) 0.5%
  • Other 5.1%
  • Roman Catholic 38.2%
  • Protestant 26.9%
  • Muslim 4.9%
  • Other Christian 5.7%
  • Other 1.6%
  • None 21.4%
  • Unspecified 1.3%
  • German 65%
  • French 18%
  • Italian 10%
  • Romansch 1%
  • Other 6%


Schweiz


Switzerland

Suisse

Suiza

Svizzera

スイス
Formally a confederation but similar in structure to a federal republic



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; members in multi-seat constituencies representing cantons and single-seat constituencies representing half cantons directly elected by simple majority vote; members serve 4-year terms) and the National Council or Nationalrat - in German, Conseil National - in French, Consiglio Nazionale - in Italian (200 seats; 195 members in cantons directly elected by proportional representation vote and 5 in half cantons directly elected by simple majority vote; members serve 4-year terms)

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)
Swiss cross (white cross on red field, arms equal length)
National colors: red, white
President of the Swiss Confederation Simonetta SOMMARUGA (since 1 January 2015)
Vice President Johann N. SCHNEIDER-AMMANN (since 1 January 2015
Note - the Federal Council, which is comprised of 7 federal councillors, constitutes the federal government of Switzerland
Council members rotate in a 1-year term as federal president (chief of state and head of government)
  • 1 August 1291
    (founding of the Swiss Confederation)

  • Founding of the Swiss Confederation in 1291; note - since 1 August 1891 celebrated as Swiss National Day
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), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PFP, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMISS, UNMOGIP, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Bern
46 55 N, 7 28 E
UTC+1

Zurich 1.246 million
BERN 358,000

26 cantons (cantons, singular - canton in French
Cantoni, singular - cantone in Italian
63 (2013)
5
beds/1,000 population (2011)
4.05
physicians/1,000 population (2012)
Federal Supreme Court (consists of 38 judges and 31 substitutes and organized into 5 sections)
18 years of age
universal

Swiss Armed Forces
Land Forces, Swiss Air Force (Schweizer Luftwaffe) (2013)


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 Swiss exports. The global financial crisis of 2008 and resulting economic downturn in 2009 stalled demand for Swiss exports and put Switzerland into a recession. During this period, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) implemented a zero-interest rate policy to boost the economy, as well as to prevent appreciation of the franc, and Switzerland's economy began to recover in 2010. ++ ++ The sovereign debt crises unfolding in neighboring euro-zone countries, however, coupled with ongoing economic instability in Russia and other eastern European economies continue to pose a significant risk to the Swiss economy, driving up demand for the Swiss franc by investors seeking a safe-haven currency. In January 2015, the SNB abandoned the Swiss franc's peg to the Euro, roiling global currency markets and making active SNB intervention a necessary hallmark of present-day Swiss monetary policy. 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 below 2% per year from 2011-14. ++ ++ In recent years, Switzerland has responded to increasing pressure from neighboring countries and trading partners to reform its banking secrecy laws, by agreeing to conform to OECD regulations on administrative assistance in tax matters, including tax evasion. The Swiss government has also renegotiated its double taxation agreements with numerous countries, including the US, to incorporate OECD standards, and is openly considering the possibility of imposing taxes on bank deposits held by foreigners.

468 769 820 843.6
$USD
57 235.3
$USD
+1.89
%
machinery, chemicals, vehicles, metals; agricultural products, textiles
  • Germany 28%
  • Italy 9.7%
  • France 8.1%
  • US 6.6%
  • China 6.5%
  • Austria 4.7%
machinery, chemicals, metals, watches, agricultural products
  • Germany 18.3%
  • US 13%
  • France 7.3%
  • Italy 6.6%
  • UK 5%
  • China 4.1%
Swiss francs (CHF) per US dollar
0.9152 (2014 est.)

0% (2014 est.)
71 464 km
44 406 mi
5 652 km
3 512 mi
1 292 km
803 mi
(there are 1,227 km of waterways on lakes and rivers for public transport and 65 km on the Rhine River between Basel-Rheinfelden and Schaffhausen-Bodensee for commercial goods transport)
54 per 100 people
country code - 41
satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean) (2011)
140.54 / 100
87.00 / 100
.ch
  • 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)
AM 3
FM 106 (plus many low-power stations)
shortwave 3 (2008)
36 596.66 kt
4.63
kt pro kopf
17.60
μg/m3
2 441.90
kt CO2 equivalent
4 992.40
kt CO2 equivalent
2
10
9
378
100 %
100 %
3 302
kg of oil equivalent per capita
52 %
39 %

Datenquelle: worldbank.com, wikipedia.org, infoplease.com, CIA World Factbook


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