Mostly mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) with a central plateau of rolling hills, plains and large lakes
Temperate, but varies with altitude; cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters; cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers
Nationality: Swiss (singular and plural)
Population: 8,061,516 (July 2014 est.)
Languages: German (official) 64.9%, French (official) 22.6%, Italian (official) 8.3%, Serbo-Croatian 2.5%, Albanian 2.6%, Portuguese 3.4%, Spanish 2.2%, English 4.6%, Romansch (official) 0.5%, other 5.1%
Roman Catholic 38.2%, Protestant 26.9%, Muslim 4.9%, other Christian 5.7%, other 1.6%, none 21.4%, unspecified 1.3%, (2012 est.)
Switzerland is a peaceful, prosperous, and modern market economy with low unemployment, a highly skilled labor force, and a per capita GDP among the highest in the world. Switzerland's economy benefits from a highly developed service sector, led by financial services, and a manufacturing industry that specializes in high-technology, knowledge-based production. Switzerland has one of the world's most competitive economies.
The Swiss enjoy an impressive standard of living. Those living in the Alpine or forest regions have traditionally lived in wooden houses with shingled or tiled roofs and carved gables. Today, fewer houses of this type are constructed. Even in remote rural areas, newer houses are commonly of brick or block. However, mountain chalets (country houses) built by city-dwellers as vacation homes often imitate the older rural styles. Most Swiss live in apartments rather than owning their own houses.
Formally a confederation but similar in structure to a federal republic
US Military Presence/Support