Switzerland's profile

Switzerland’s profile

Baseline data

  • Capital: Bern
  • Population: 8,482 million (in 2017).
  • National languages: German (63.7%), French (20.4%), Italian (6.5%), Romansh (0.5%)
  • National day: 1st of August


Switzerland is a parliamentary federal state of 23 cantons since 1848.


  • Area : 41,293 sq km. The Alps cover 60% of Switzerland’s surface area.
  • Highest Peak: Dufourspitze: 4,634 m
  • Largest Glacier : Aletsch 117 sq km

Largest Cities and Agglomerations

Population in thousands in 2014

City Population in Agglomeration (city center)
Zurich 1’315 (391)
Geneva 570 (195)
Basel 537 (169)
Bern 407 (130)
Lausanne 403 (134)
Source: OFS

Scientific Research

Switzerland has an old tradition in science, and it is among leading countries in scientific research. Switzerland is especially strong in chemistry and biotechnology, and appears regularly in good positions in research rankings (see www.universityrankings.ch) and numerous Swiss scientists have received the Nobel prizes in all scientific disciplines.


Switzerland’s economy is based on a highly qualified labour force performing highly skilled work. The main areas include micro-technology, high-tech, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, as well as banking and insurance know-how. The service sector now employs the greatest number of people.

Most of the people working in Switzerland are employed by small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), which play an extremely important role in the Swiss economy.