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Demographics of Switzerland

Switzerland sits at the crossroads of several major European cultures, which have heavily influenced the country's languages and cultural practices. Switzerland has four official languages--German, French, Italian, and Romansch (based on Latin and spoken by a small minority in the Canton Graubunden). The German spoken here is predominantly a Swiss dialect, but newspapers and some broadcasts use High German. Many Swiss speak more than one language. English is widely known, especially among professionals.

More than 75% of the population lives in the central plain, which stretches between the Alps and the Jura Mountains and from Geneva in the southwest to the Rhine River and Lake Constance in the northeast. Resident foreigners and temporary foreign workers make up about 20% of the population.

Almost all Swiss are literate. Switzerland's 13 institutes of higher learning enrolled 99,600 students in the academic year of 2001-02. About 25% of the adult population holds a diploma of higher learning.

The Constitution guarantees freedom of worship and the different religious communities co-exist peacefully.

Switzerland consistently ranks high on quality of life indices, including highest per capita income, one of the highest concentration of computer and Internet usage per capita, highest insurance coverage per individual, and high health care rates. For these and many other reasons, it serves as an excellent test market for businesses hoping to introduce new products into Europe.

Population: 7,262,372 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 17% (male 637,782; female 605,626)
15-64 years: 68% (male 2,498,540; female 2,421,802)
65 years and over: 15% (male 444,627; female 653,995) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.3% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 10.4 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 8.75 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: 1.38 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 4.53 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 79.6 years
male: 76.73 years
female: 82.63 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.47 children born/woman (2000 est.)

noun: Swiss (singular and plural)
adjective: Swiss

Religions: Roman Catholic 46.1%, Protestant 40%, other 5%, none 8.9% (1990)

Languages: German (official) 63.7%, French (official) 19.2%, Italian (official) 7.6%, Romansh 0.6%, other 8.9%

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99% (1980 est.)
male: NA%
female: NA%

See also : Switzerland