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Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation; (German: Schweiz [ʃvaɪ̯t͡s], French: Suisse [sɥis], Italian: Svizzera [ˈzvit.t͡se.ra], Romansh: Svizra [svi.t͡sra]), is a landlocked country located at the confluence of Western, Central and Southern Europe.[lower-alpha 6][16] It is a federal republic composed of 26 cantons, with federal authorities based in Bern.[lower-alpha 1][3][2]

Quick facts: Swiss Confederation Five official names Schw...
Swiss Confederation
Five official names
    • Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft (German)
    • Confédération suisse (French)
    • Confederazione Svizzera (Italian)
    • Confederaziun svizra (Romansh)
    • Confoederatio helvetica (Latin)[1]
Motto: (traditional)
"Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno" (Latin)
"One for all, all for one"
Anthem: "Swiss Psalm"
Location of Switzerland (green)

in Europe (green and dark grey)

46°57′N 7°27′E
Largest cityZürich
Official languages
  • German
  • French
  • Italian
  • Romansh
Other languagesEnglish[lower-alpha 2][4]
Ethnic groups
  • 29.4% No religion
  • 5.4% Islam
  • 0.6% Hinduism
  • 0.9% Others
  • 1.1% No answer
GovernmentFederal assembly-independent[7][8] directorial republic with elements of a semi-direct democracy
Walter Thurnherr
LegislatureFederal Assembly
Council of States
National Council
c.1300[lower-alpha 4] (traditionally 1 August 1291)
24 October 1648
7 August 1815
12 September 1848[lower-alpha 5][9]
41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi) (132nd)
 Water (%)
4.34 (2015)[10]
 2020 estimate
8,636,896[11] (99th)
 2015 census
207/km2 (536.1/sq mi) (48th)
GDP (PPP)2022 estimate
$739.49 billion[13] (35th)
 Per capita
$84,658 [13] (5th)
GDP (nominal)2022 estimate
$841.69 billion[13] (20th)
 Per capita
$92,434[13] (7th)
Gini (2018) 29.7[14]
HDI (2021) 0.962[15]
very high · 1st
CurrencySwiss franc (CHF)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 Summer (DST)
Date (AD)
Driving sideright
Calling code+41
ISO 3166 codeCH
Internet, .swiss

Switzerland is bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. It is geographically divided among the Swiss Plateau, the Alps and the Jura, spanning 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi) with land area comprising 39,997 km2 (15,443 sq mi). The Alps occupy the greater part of the territory.

The Swiss population of approximately 8.7 million is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities and economic centres are located, including Zürich, Geneva and Basel. These three cities are home to the headquarters or offices of international organisations such as the WTO, the WHO, the ILO, FIFA, and the United Nations's second-largest office.

Switzerland originates from the Old Swiss Confederacy that was established in the Late Middle Ages following a series of military successes against Austria and Burgundy. The Federal Charter of 1291 is considered the country's founding document, which is celebrated on Swiss National Day. Since the Reformation of the 16th century, Switzerland has maintained a policy of armed neutrality. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognised in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. Switzerland has not fought an international war since 1815. It joined the United Nations only in 2002, though it pursues an active foreign policy, including participation in frequent peace-building processes worldwide.[17] Switzerland is the birthplace of the Red Cross, one of the world's oldest and best-known humanitarian organisations. It is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), but not part of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or the Eurozone. However, it participates in the European single market and the Schengen Area through bilateral treaties.

Switzerland has four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, Italian and Romansh. Although the majority population are German-speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in its common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy,[18] and Alpine symbolism.[19][20] This identity, which transcends language, ethnicity, and religion, has led to Switzerland being described as a Willensnation ("nation of volition") rather than a nation-state.[21]

Due to its linguistic diversity, Switzerland is known by multiple native names: Schweiz [ˈʃvaɪts] (German);[lower-alpha 7] Suisse [sɥis(ə)] (French); Svizzera [ˈzvittsera] (Italian); and Svizra [ˈʒviːtsrɐ, ˈʒviːtsʁɐ] (Romansh).[lower-alpha 8] On coins and stamps, the Latin name, Confoederatio Helvetica – frequently shortened to "Helvetia" – is used instead of the spoken languages.

Switzerland is one of the world's most developed countries. It has the highest nominal wealth per adult of any country[22] and the eighth highest gross domestic product per capita.[23][24] Switzerland ranks 1st in the Human Developement Index since 2021, and it ranks highly also on several international metrics, including economic competitiveness and democratic governance. Its cities such as Zürich, Geneva and Basel rank among the highest in terms of quality of life,[25][26] albeit with some of the highest costs of living.[27]

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