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Switzerland Travel Information

World > Europe > 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 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.

Switzerland consistently ranks high on quality of life indices, including
highest per capita income, one of the highest concentrations of computer and
Internet usage per capita, highest insurance coverage per individual, and
high health care rates. For these and many other reasons, it tops the list of
desirable places to immigrate to.


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