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How many people live in Switzerland and which languages do they speak? How high is the poverty line? Here you'll find hard facts about the country at a glance.

With a population of 8.24 million permanent residents at the end of 2014, Switzerland is the world’s 97th largest country by population and 135th largest country by area. 

Zurich is the country’s most populated city with about 391,400 people, followed by Geneva (about 194,600), Basel (about 168,600), Lausanne (about 133,900) and the capital Bern (about 130,000). 

The country remains one of the wealthiest with a GDP per capita of about CHF81,545 per year (2013), one of the highest in the world, according to the World Bank.

However, about 7.7% of the population lives below the poverty line, defined as earning less than CHF2,200 a month for a single person or less than CHF4,050 a month for a couple with two children according to the Federal Statistical Office

Fast facts

  • Total area: 41,285 square kilometres (about the size of Massachusetts and Connecticut combined or roughly half the size of Scotland)
  • Number of cantons: 26
  • Resident population: 8.24 million (2014)
  • Swiss population: 6.24 million (2014)
  • Foreign population: 2 million (2014)
  • Foreign resident population by nationality/region (2014): European Union/EFTA (1,326,900), Italy (306,400), Germany (298,000), Portugal (262,700), France (116,900); Serbia (78,100); Asia/Oceania (133,000), Americas (79,000); Africa (86,700).
  • Swiss population abroad (2014): 746,900
  • Life expectancy (2014): 85.2 years (women); 81 (men)
  • Languages declared as main languages (2013): German/ Swiss German (63.5%), French (22.5%), Italian (8.1%), Romansh (0.5%), English 4.4%. People were able to register more than one main language in the census.
  • At work, Swiss-German is the most widely spoken language (66.2%), followed by German (32.8%), French (29.1%), then English (17.7%) and Italian (8.7%). People could indicate more than one language.
  • At home or with relatives, 60.3% of the permanent resident population usually speak Swiss-German, 23.2% French, 9.8% German, 8.3% Italian and 4.4% English. People could indicate more than one language.
  • Religion (2013): Roman Catholic (38.2%), Protestant (26.9%), no religious affiliation (21.4%), Muslim (5%).

For more statistics, visit the Federal Statistical Office.



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