Europe: Switzerland

About Switzerland

Switzerland's independence and neutrality have long been honored by the major European powers and Switzerland 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, may be rendering obsolete the country's concern for neutrality.

Vital Statistics
Capitol City: Bern
Population: 7,283,274 (July 2001 est.)
Percent below poverty: NA%
Language: German (official) 63.7%, French (official) 19.2%, Italian (official) 7.6%, Romansch 0.6%, other 8.9%
Date of independence: 1 August 1291 (Founding of the Swis
Form of government: federal republic
Title of Leader: President
Natural Resources: hydropower potential, timber, salt
Environmental Issues: air pollution from vehicle emissions and open-air burning; acid rain; water pollution from increased use of agricultural fertilizers; loss of biodiversity
Agricultural Products: grains, fruits, vegetables; meat, eggs
Imports: machinery, chemicals, vehicles, metals; agricultural products, textiles
Exports: machinery, chemicals, metals, watches, agricultural products
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: EU 77.7% (Germany 31.0%, France 12.0%, Italy 9.7%, Netherlands 5.1%, UK 5.7%), US 7.1%, Japan 2.9% (1999)
EXPORTS: EU 65.8% (Germany 22.6%, France 9.2%, Italy 8.0%, UK 5.5%, Austria 3.2%), US 12.4%, Japan 4.0% (1999)


Switzerland Headlines


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