Discovering Switzerland


Switzerland has a high concentration of expatriates from Europe and other countries. The country enjoys a vibrant economy.

If Switzerland is the country you have been dreaming of, find an overview of its economy, demography, politics and climate in this article.

Switzerland is among the best expat destinations in Western Europe. Surrounded by France, Italy, Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein, the country stretches over some 41 285 km². Switzerland is divided into 26 cantons and 2,352 autonomous municipalities. Berne is its capital city while its biggest cities are Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Lausanne and Fribourg, etc.

Demography

Switzerland's population amounts to over 8,04 million inhabitants, including a high concentration of expatriates. In fact, you will find Germans, French and Italian, as well as non-European expatriates, which have greatly influenced the Swiss culture. Therefore, the country has several official languages in four linguistic areas, namely German, French, Italian and English. Other languages such as Romansh are also spoken in some regions. Note that many other foreign languages are taught in Swiss schools.

Economy

Switzerland has one of the world's most developed and prosperous economies. The latter is based on several fields such as financial services, insurance, banking, micro technology, biotechnology, high technology, pharmaceutical industry, as well as trade, tourism and small and medium enterprises. Note that the Swiss economy has a remarkable performance although it does not have raw materials. Its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) amounted to some 646 million USD in 2013 and is estimated to 672 million USD in 2014. Moreover, the energy and transport sectors also contribute to its economic stability.

Switzerland is a member of the United Nations (UN), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Economic Cooperation and Development Organization (ECDO).

Politics

The country is still officially known as the Swiss Confederation although it has become a federation since 1848. Switzerland is a stable and democratic state consisting of 26 federal states. Politics and finance are the central government's responsibility. Moreover, the different individual States are bound by a constitution which emphasizes on civil and human rights.

The Swiss Federal Council consists of seven members who are elected or re-elected on a four years basis which is renewable.

Climate

Switzerland's climate is influenced by the region's oceanic, continental and mountainous temperatures. Precipitations are frequent, often causing snow in winter. The four seasons are marked by distinct temperatures. July is the hottest month with temperatures rising above 30°C while January is the coldest month with temperatures lower than 0°C.