Switzerland has an area of 41,285 square kilometres (15,940 square miles). The productive area - that is, the area without the lakes, rivers, unproductive vegetation and no vegetation at all - covers 30,753 square km (11,870 square miles).
Switzerland measures 220 kilometers (137 miles) from north to south and 350 km (217 miles) from east to west. It has a total 1852 km of boundries with:
Population and Administrative Divisions
Capital city is Bern. The Swiss Confederation consists of 20 cantons and 6 half cantons. About 8 million in the entire country. Population in larger cities (approx.):
Switzerland has four unevenly distributed languages and a wealth of dialects.
German (65.6 %)
German is by far the most widely spoken language in Switzerland: 19 of the country’s 26 cantons are predominantly (Swiss) German-speaking.
French (22.8 %)
French is spoken in the western part of the country, the "Suisse Romande." Four cantons are French-speaking: Geneva, Jura, Neuchâtel and Vaud. Three cantons are bilingual: in Bern, Fribourg and Valais both French and German are spoken.
Italian (8.4 %)
Italian is spoken in Ticino and four southern valleys of Canton Graubünden.
Rhaeto-Rumantsch (0.6 %)
Rumantsch is spoken in the only trilingual canton, Graubünden. The other two languages spoken there are German and Italian. Rumantsch, like Italian and French, is a language with Latin roots. It is spoken by just 0.5% of the total Swiss population.
Other languages (5.6 %)
The many foreigners resident in Switzerland have brought with them their own languages, which taken as a whole now outnumber both Rumantsch and Italian. The 2000 census showed that speakers of Serbian/Croatian were the largest foreign language group, with 1.4% of the population. English was the main language for 1%.
The majority of people living in Switzerland are Christian. Approx. 42% are Roman Catholic, and 35% Protestant (2002 figures). There are also many other religions represented in Switzerland: 4% Muslim, 0.3% Buddhist, 0.2% Jewish. The number of people with no religious affiliation has significantly increased (11%).