51 Interesting Facts About Switzerland

Switzerland is a country situated in Western and Central Europe with an area of 15,940 sq mi. It is geographically divided between the Alps, the Jura mountains and the Swiss Plateau. The majority of the Swiss population lives in the plateau.

51 Interesting facts about Switzerland that you will enjoy reading.

1. The population of Switzerland is nearly 8 million. (2013)

2. Zurich and Geneva are among the top ten most livable cities in the world. They rank second and eighth on the list, respectively.

3. The Swiss franc is the official currency of Switzerland.

4. Switzerland is known the world over for its banking system, chocolates, Swiss Army knives, watches, and Alpine mountain areas.

5. Swiss consumption of chocolates per capita is the highest in the world. They have invented techniques like conching and tempering to help them produce world-class chocolates.

6. Mountaineering, snowboarding and skiing are some of the popular sports in Switzerland.

7. Half of the luxury watches produced in the world come from Switzerland. Brands like Tissot, TAG Heuer, Rolex, Patek Philippe and Longines are all Swiss.

8. The large Hadron Collider in the world’s largest particle physics laboratory – CERN – is in Switzerland. It has been established under the ground.

9. Bern is the capital of Switzerland. Zurich is its largest city.

bern zurich
A street in Bern, Zurich.

10. In Latin, Confoederatio Helvetica is Switzerland’s official name, which is why Switzerland’s abbreviation is CH.

11. Romansh, Italian, French and Swiss German are the four official languages of Switzerland. Swiss German is spoken by more than two-thirds of its population.

12. Switzerland has enough underground bunker capacity that it can hide its entire population in case of a nuclear war.

13. Assisted suicide in Switzerland is legal. It is also legal in China, Belgium, Canada and other few countries. There is, however, different legislation regarding the circumstances under which this is legal.

14. Switzerland provides nearly all CO2-friendly electricity to its citizens. 39% of electricity comes from nuclear power plants, while 56% is generated by hydroelectric power plants.

15. A giant three-legged chair in Geneva, Switzerland is dedicated to the opposition of using land mines. It is known as “The Broken Chair.”

16. The “Anti PowerPoint party” is a political party in Switzerland that works to decrease the use of PowerPoint in professional presentations. They claim that the PowerPoint software is economically harmful.

17. Animals are also represented by lawyers in Switzerland’s courts. Once, a fisherman was prosecuted for taking too long to catch a Pike.

18. 23% of Switzerland’s total population of almost 8 million consists of foreigners.

19. The divorce rate in Switzerland is about 43%, and people marry late: men at the age of 31.8 years and women at 29.5 years.

20. The average age for Swiss women to have their first child is 30.4 years, which makes them the oldest women in Europe to do so.

21. One hundred tons of hash and marijuana are used in Switzerland every year by 600,000 people.

22. Highly skilled people form the basis for Switzerland’s economy. Sectors such as banking, insurance, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, micro technology, etc. employ these skilled people.

23. Switzerland: the best place in the world to be born, according to a recent quality-of-life index.

24. The tallest mountain in Switzerland – Monte Rosa – sits at a height of 4,634 m and is situated on the Swiss/Italian border.

25. There are more than 1500 lakes in Switzerland.

26. It is funny to note that there are more banks in the Switzerland than dentists.

27. Fuel economy in Switzerland is measured in “quantity per distance” (liters per 100 km).

28. If you were a teacher in Switzerland, you would enjoy at least 12 weeks’ vacation, and you would be paid highly: on an average – $68,000 per year (2014).

29. There are 5.8 hospital beds per 1000 people in Switzerland, which is the highest density in the world.

30. Bank tellers are protected by bulletproof glass in Switzerland.

31. Drivers of public busses can be ticketed for traffic violations.

32. Switzerland contains 3,100 miles of railway network.

33. Switzerland is known for the lowest crime rates in all of the Europe. Almost half of its population possesses guns. In spite of this fact, there were just 0.5 murders per 100,000 compared to five per 100,000 in the U.S.

34. For the past 190 years, Switzerland has been a neutral country during wartimes.

35. Heavy snowfall in Switzerland during the night time will often accumulate enough snow on the roads to make them unusable. However, the roads will always be cleaned by 8:00 in the morning.

36. Switzerland is one of the two countries in the world to have a square flag. The other is Vatican City.

37. A ring made entirely out of diamonds was sold by a Swiss jeweler for a whopping $68 million.

38. Swiss chocolatiers Peter and Henri Nestlé invented milk chocolate in 1875.

39. The very first Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Jean Henri Dunant, a Swiss, in 1901. He is the founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

40. Switzerland does not have a president as chief of state.

41. “The World’s Smallest Toolbox” – the Swiss Army knife – was invented by Karl Elsener. There are four different models available, and they can have a barometer, altimeter and even a USB memory card.

42. The famous equation E=MC2 was devised by Albert Einstein in 1905, while he was in Switzerland.

43. Charlie Chaplin spent the last 25 years of his life in Switzerland.

44. The world’s largest nuclear shelter, the Sonnenberg Tunnel, is in Switzerland. It can house up to 20,000 individuals for an extended period of time during a nuclear emergency.

45. Switzerland’s defense is well prepared for the event of an attack. It has already deployed technology to block access via roads, bridges and railways across 3000 locations.

46. It is a fun fact about Switzerland that if you lease a cow there, you get to keep all the cheese made from the cow’s milk during the duration of the lease.cows in switzerland

47. The smallest vineyard under the ownership of Dalai Lama is located in Switzerland.

48. The World Wide Web was invented by Tim Berners Lee in Switzerland in 1989.

49. More films produced by India are shot in Switzerland than in any other country.

50. The first waterproof watch was invented by Rolex in 1927 in Switzerland.

51. … and Nescafe, the world’s first instant coffee, was invented in 1938 in Switzerland, too.

switzerland map
Interesting facts about Switzerland: Switzerland Map

Fast facts about Switzerland

Capital CityBern
Largest CityZurich
Total area41,277 sq km
Population8,103,418 (2016)
Official LanguageGerman, French, Italian, Romansh
BordersGermany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Italy, France
CurrencySwiss franc (CHF)
ReligionRoman Catholic, Swiss Reformed Church, Other Christian
Terrainmostly mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) with a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes
Natural resourceshydropower potential, timber, salt
Agricultural land38.7%
Life expectancy81.57 years (2016)
Birth rate10.5 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
Death rate8.13 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
Sex ratio0.97 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
Government typefederal republic (formally a confederation)
Independence1 August 1291 (founding of the Swiss Confederation)
National symbolSwiss cross (white cross on red field, arms equal length); national colors: red, white
National anthemthe Swiss anthem has four names: "Schweizerpsalm" [German] "Cantique Suisse" [French] "Salmo svizzero," [Italian] "Psalm svizzer" [Romansch] (Swiss Psalm)
Industriesmachinery, chemicals, watches, textiles, precision instruments, tourism, banking, insurance
Exports$270.6 billion (2015 est.)
machinery, chemicals, metals, watches, agricultural products
Imports$214.8 billion (2015 est.)
machinery, chemicals, vehicles, metals; agricultural products, textiles
GDP - per capita (PPP)$58,600 (2015 est.)
Internet country code.ch
Internet users7.145 million
percent of population: 88% (July 2015 est.)
Time ZoneCET (UTC+1)
Calling Code+41
Drives on theRight