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Statistical information about Switzerland

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Table of contents:

  1. Ethnic divisions
  2. Religions
  3. Languages
  4. Statistics about cantons
  5. Cantons by size (area)
  6. Cantons by population
  7. Cantons by foreign citizens

1. Ethnic divisions:

Total population:

German 65%
French 18%
Italian 10%
Romansh 1%
Other 6%

Swiss Nationals only:

German 74%
French 20%
Italian 4%
Romansh 1%
Other 1%
To table of contents To table of contents

2. Religions:

Roman Catholic 47.6%
Protestant 44.3%
Other 8.1%
To table of contents To table of contents

3. Languages:

Total population:

German 65%
French 18%
Italian 12%
Romansh 1%
Other 4%

Swiss Nationals only:

German 74%
French 20%
Italian 4%
Romansh 1%
Other 1%

Even though Switzerland is a small country, its people do speak no less than four different languages. Everything from the list of the ingredients on the package of the groceries to the manual of the most complicated TV set has to be printed in three different languages (German, French and Italian).

The so called "German speaking" Swiss don't speak the same German as the Germans or the Austrians do, but what is known as "Swiss-German". To make it even worse, each state has its own dialect, but there is no written "Swiss-German" at all ! Fortunately, the Germans, the Austrians and the Swiss-Germans use the same written German language which in turn is close to the so called "high German", a "quasi-standard" of the German languages.

For much more information about languages in Switzerland, see words and phrases.

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Statistics about Cantons:

Here we provide statistical information about the Cantons of Switzerland. The figures are based on information provided by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office ("Bundesamt für Statistik" (BFS)).

Nr. Canton Short Member since State Capital Area ¹) Population ²) Foreign Citizens in % Municipalities ²) Seats in Nationalrat ¹)
1 Zürich ZH 1351 Zürich 1'729 1'181'600 21.1 171 34
2 Bern / Berne BE 1353 Bern 5'959 938'600 11.4 400 27
3 Luzern LU 1332 Luzern 1'493 342'900 14.7 107 10
4 Uri UR 1291 Altdorf 1'077 35'800 8.8 20 1
5 Schwyz SZ 1291 Schwyz 908 125'200 15.3 30 3
6 Unterwalden UW 1291 - 767 consisting of the two Halb-Kantone:
  Obwalden OW 1291 Sarnen (491) 31'800 10.7 7 1
  Nidwalden NW 1291 Stans (276) 37'200 9.2 11 1
7 Glarus GL 1352 Glarus 685 38'700 20.1 29 1
8 Zug ZG 1352 Zug 239 95'100 18.6 11 3
9 Freiburg / Fribourg FR 1481 Fribourg 1'671 229'900 13.7 247 6
10 Solothurn SO 1481 Solothurn 791 241'600 15.9 126 7
11 Basel - 1501 - 555 consisting of the two Halb-Kantone:
  Basel Stadt BS 1501 Basel (37) 193'100 26.3 3 6
  Basel Land BL 1501 Liestal (518) 255'300 16.0 86 7
12 Schaffhausen SH 1501 Schaffhausen 299 73'700 19.4 34 2
13 Appenzell - 1513 - 416 consisting of the two Halb-Kantone:
  Appenzell Ausserrhoden AR 1513 Herisau (243) 54'000 14.3 20 2
  Appenzell Innerrhoden AI 1513 Appenzell (173) 14'900 10.3 6 1
14 Sankt Gallen SG 1803 Sankt Gallen 2'026 443'900 18.9 90 12
15 Graubünden GR 1803 Chur 7'105 185'500 13.7 213 5
16 Aargau AG 1803 Aarau 1'404 534'000 18.3 232 15
17 Thurgau TG 1803 Frauenfeld 991 225'400 19.2 103 6
18 Ticino TI 1803 Bellinzona 2'812 305'600 26.6 245 8
19 Vaud VD 1803 Lausanne 3'212 608'200 25.9 385 17
20 Valais / Valais VS 1815 Sitten / Sion 5'225 273'400 16.8 163 7
21 Neuchâtel NE 1815 Neuchâtel 803 165'400 22.3 62 5
22 Genève GE 1815 Genève 282 396'600 37.6 45 11
23 Jura JU 1978 Delemont 838 69'400 11.9 83 2
  Switzerland CH 1291 Bern 41'285 7'096'800 22.4% 2929 200

¹) Numbers of the year 1995
²) Numbers of the year 1997

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Cantons by size (area):

Area in km2
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Cantons by population:

Population
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Cantons by foreign citizens:

Foreign Citizens in %
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