Switzerland Population, Politics and Economy
Population in Switzerland
According to directoryaah, approximately 8.6 million people live in Switzerland (2019). The average population density is 207 residents per km², but the population is concentrated in the Swiss plateau. The annual population growth is almost one percent and is mainly due to the high rate of immigration. The average age of the Swiss population is around 43 years. Ethnically, the population of Switzerland is composed mainly of Swiss, Italians, Germans, Portuguese, French and Spanish. Foreigners are people without Swiss citizenship, every foreigner receives a foreigner identity card. In addition, an unknown number of people without a valid residence permit live in Switzerland. In 2017, Italian citizens made up the largest group of foreigners with 14.9 percent, followed by Germans (14, 3 percent), Portuguese (12.5), French (6.2), Kosovar (5.2), Spanish (3.9), Turkish (3.2) and Serbian (3.1) citizens. 19.9 percent come from the rest of Europe, 7.9 percent from Asia, 5.1 percent from Africa and 3.8 percent from America.
There are four official languages spoken in Switzerland. Depending on the region and neighboring countries, these are German (64 percent), French (20 percent), Italian (7 percent) and Romansh (1 percent), a mixture of Italian and French. German is usually spoken as a dialect, the so-called Schwyzerdütsch.
75% of the Swiss belong to the Christian faith, over 20% are non-denominational or atheists.
Politics and economy in Switzerland
The Swiss Confederation is neither a purely parliamentary nor a presidential democracy, but has developed a system of government largely of its own, called the directorate system. In addition to a national bicameral parliament and a uniquely designed Federal Council, which unites both the collective head of state and the federal government, the main characteristics are federalism and direct democracy, which is shaped by the popular initiative and referendum.
The parliament (Federal Assembly) consists of two chambers, the National Council and the Council of States. The Federal Council is the Swiss federal government and is elected by parliament. It consists of seven equal members who head the individual ministries of the federal administration. The Federal President heads the Federal Council, followed by the Vice President and the Federal Councilors in order of age for re-election.
The judiciary at the federal level consists of the Federal Supreme Court with its headquarters in Lausanne and Lucerne.
The state administration of Switzerland is divided into three levels, federal, canton and commune.
According to ebizdir, Switzerland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. In terms of gross domestic product per capita, Switzerland ranks second with just under 80,000 US dollars. The Swiss economy is considered to be one of the most stable economies in the world. Price stability is one of the success factors. However, the general price level is high. The cost of living is the highest in Europe. Zurich and Geneva are considered to be the most expensive cities in the world. Small and medium-sized companies are of crucial importance in the Swiss economy.
Most of the employed in Switzerland are employed in the service sector. Trade, health and education, banking and insurance are dominant.
More than a third of the Swiss national territory is used for agriculture, which together with forestry and fishing contribute around 0.7 percent to the total gross value added.
Large international companies play an important role in the machine industry, in the food industry, in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, as well as in the watch and luxury goods industries. The added value of industrial production comes primarily from the production of very high-quality goods such as medical technology products, pharmaceuticals, precision instruments or luxury watches.
Hydropower is an important raw material for Switzerland; The more than 500 large and small storage power plants and run-of-river power plants cover around two thirds of Switzerland’s electricity needs. Tourism is also an important branch of the economy in Switzerland, favored by the Alps, the many lakes, the central location in Europe, stable politics, a safe society and a strong economy.
Transport network in Switzerland
In 2017, the total length of the well-developed Swiss road network was around 71,560 km, of which around 1,460 km were toll motorways. Motorways also criss-cross the Alps, with the mountains being crossed by numerous modern tunnels. The density of autobahns is higher in the densely populated Swiss Plateau, and more remote areas are accessed by main roads. In the mountains there are various connections, mostly closed in winter, via pass roads and through tunnels.
Switzerland has 5500 km of railway lines and, relative to the area of the country, the densest railway network in the world, although two thirds of the country are in very mountainous terrain. Therefore, Switzerland can be very easily traveled by public transport. As a supplement to the very dense rail network, buses, trams and light rail vehicles provide fine connections in local public transport. Numerous mountain railways and cable cars are used to develop the high mountain regions. The well-developed public transport network is noticeable, among other things, in the fact that around a fifth of all Swiss households do not have their own car.
The largest airports and departure points for long-haul flights are in Kloten (Zurich Airport) and Cointrin (Geneva Airport). The third largest airport in Switzerland, Basel-Mulhouse Airport, is located in Hésingue and Saint-Louis on French soil.
The only international ports with sea connections are the Swiss Rhine ports, which are located in and near Basel on the Rhine.
Then there are the ports of the inland lakes, which, in addition to the ferry operations across Lake Zurich, Lake Constance and Lake Lucerne, as well as the development of the community of Quinten on Lake Walen, have a high tourist share.