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Basic Facts
Country name conventional long form: Swiss Confederation
conventional short form: Switzerland
local long form: Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft (German); Confederation Suisse (French); Confederazione Svizzera (Italian)
local short form: Schweiz (German); Suisse (French); Svizzera (Italian)
Gevernment typeformally a confederation, but similar in structure to a federal republic
Capital name: Bern
geographic coordinates: 46 57 N, 7 26 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Flag descriptionred square with a bold, equilateral white cross in the center that does not extend to the edges of the flag
CurrencySwiss franc (CHF)
Internet country code.ch
Ports and terminalsBasel
Agriculture productsgrains, fruits, vegetables; meat, eggs
Industriesmachinery, chemicals, watches, textiles, precision instruments
Geography
LocationCentral Europe, east of France, north of Italy
Coordinates47 00 N, 8 00 E
ContinentEurope
Area total: 41,290 sq km
land: 39,770 sq km
water: 1,520 sq km
Boundaries total: 1,852 km
border countries: Austria 164 km, France 573 km, Italy 740 km, Liechtenstein 41 km, Germany 334 km
Coastline0 km (landlocked)
Climatetemperate, but varies with altitude; cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters; cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers
Terrainmostly mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) with a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes
Natural resourceshydropower potential, timber, salt
Natural hazardsavalanches, landslides, flash floods
People
Population7,523,934 (July 2006 est.)
Ethnic groupsGerman 65%, French 18%, Italian 10%, Romansch 1%, other 6%
ReligionsRoman Catholic 41.8%, Protestant 35.3%, Orthodox 1.8%, other Christian 0.4%, Muslim 4.3%, other 1%, unspecified 4.3%, none 11.1% (2000 census)
LanguagesGerman (official) 63.7%, French (official) 20.4%, Italian (official) 6.5%, Serbo-Croatian 1.5%, Albanian 1.3%, Portuguese 1.2%, Spanish 1.1%, English 1%, Romansch 0.5%, other 2.8% (2000 census)
note: German, French, Italian, and Romansch are all national languages, but only the first three are official languages

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