Geography of Switzerland

General information about Switzerland

The official name is the Swiss Confederation (Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft, Confederation Suisse, Confederazione Svizzera, Swiss Confederation). Located in Central Europe. The area is 41.29 thousand km2, the population is 7.3 million people. (2002). The official languages are German, French, Italian. The capital is Bern (112.5 thousand people, 2001). National holiday – Day of creation of the Swiss Confederation on August 1 (since 1291). The monetary unit is the Swiss franc.

Member of 67 international organizations, incl. UN (since 2002), OECD, UNCTAD, WTO, etc.

Geography of Switzerland

According to, Switzerland is located between 8°00′ east longitude and 47°00′ north latitude. The country has no access to the sea. It borders in the east with Austria (164 km) and Liechtenstein (41 km), in the north with Germany (334 km), in the west with France (573 km), in the south with Italy (740 km). The landscape of the country is mostly mountainous: 58.5% of the entire territory (south, southeast, center) is occupied by the Alps, 10% by the Jura mountains (northwest), the rest falls on the Swiss Plateau (Mittelland), which is located between the two main mountain ranges. arrays. The highest mountains: Dufour peak (4638 m), Finsteraarhorn peak (4275 m).

The main rivers: Rhine (within the country – 375 km), Rhone (264 km), Ticino (91 km) – a tributary of the river. Po, Inn (104 km) – a tributary of the Danube. There are a large number of lakes on the Swiss plateau, the largest are: Geneva (581 km2), Constance (538.5 km2). The country’s soils are not naturally fertile. In the highlands, the soil cover is not continuous and is replete with rubble. On the Swiss plateau – brown forest and alluvial soils, which are relatively fertile.

In the flora, the influence of vertical zonality is pronounced. Up to a height of 800 m, cultivated vegetation (meadows, orchards, vineyards) predominates. Deciduous and coniferous forests are located at an altitude of 0.8-1.8 thousand meters (they occupy a quarter of the entire territory of the country). Above 2 thousand meters, alpine meadows begin.

The fauna is included within the European-Siberian subregion of the Palearctic region. There are (mainly in reserves): a bear, a wolf, a hare, a deer and a mountain goat. Chamois and alpine marmot are found in the highlands. The country’s climate is also characterized by vertical zoning. On the Swiss plateau – moderately warm and humid; in the valleys of the southern slope of the Alps – approaches the Mediterranean; in the high mountains it is cold and humid (snow usually does not melt even in summer).

Of the minerals stand out: water resources, forests and rock salt.

Population of Switzerland

Dynamics of population growth since ser. 1950s quite active – an increase occurred by 46% (in 1950 – 5 million people). At the same time, the annual increase reaches 2.4‰ (2002). The net influx of immigrants is 1.37‰. Birth rate 9.84‰, mortality 8.79‰, infant mortality 4.42 people. per 1000 newborns. The average life expectancy is 79.86 years, incl. men 76.98 years, women 82.89 years (2002).

Age structure of the population: 0-14 years old – 16.8%, 15-64 years old – 67.7%, 65 years and older – 15.5%. The average ratio of men and women is 0.97, but at the age of 65 years and older, women predominate – 0.69. The educational level of the population is high. Over the age of 15, 99% of the entire population of the country can read and write. Ethnic composition: Germans (65%), French (18%), Italians (10%) and Romansh (1%). Spoken languages: Germano-Swiss (dialect of High German) – 63.7%, Franco-Swiss (Provençal dialect of French) – 19.2%, Italo-Swiss (Lombard dialect of Italian) – 7.6%, Romansh (Graubund dialect Romanized Rhine tribes) – 0.6%.

Among believers, Catholics (46.1%) have a slight preponderance compared to Protestants (40%).

Geography of Switzerland