We all know Switzerland as the country of chocolate, watches, and banks. However, did you know some of the most amazing facts about Switzerland? Let’s check it out!
15 amazing facts about Switzerland:
1. The Swiss marry late
The average marriage age for Swiss men is 31.8 and 29.5 for women. On the other hand, the divorce rate in Switzerland is about 43%, and the average age for Swiss women to have their first child is 30.4 years, which makes them the oldest women in Europe to do so.
2. Switzerland has 7000 lakes
With an area of 580.03 km2 (224 sq mi), Lake Geneva is the largest lake in Switzerland. It is shared with France (40.47% is within French territory) where it’s known as Lac Léman. The largest lake completely within Switzerland is Lake Neuchâtel with a surface area of 218.3 km2 (84 sq mi). For the most part, the water is so clear that you can drink out of rivers and lakes. Only if you cannot see the bottom of a lake is it considered dirty.
3. Owns lots of guns, but has the lowest crime rates
Amongst industrialized nations, Switzerland has one of the highest rates of gun ownership. However, that does not necessarily have to lead to more crime; Switzerland has nearly half the gun-related deaths the United States has. Switzerland actually has one of the lowest crime rates of all industrialized countries. In 2010, there were only 0.5 gun murders per 100,000 people, compared to 5/100,000 in the U.S.
It’s important to be noted that the reason for this great amount of people owning guns in Switzerland is since this country has mandatory military service. After they finish their service, all of them are supposed to take their assault rifles or pistols at home, however, without ammunition.
4. One of the most expensive places to live in
Both the Worldwide Cost of Living Survey and the Mercer Cost of Living survey found Zurich to be one of the world’s most expensive cities. Zurich is also the most populated canton with 402,762 inhabitants. The median home price there is CHF 13,000 ($13,036) per square meter, while the average monthly rental price: CHF 2,324 ($2,330) for a three-bedroom apartment. However, the average salary is CHF 103,296 ($103.298), so it’s not like they can complain.
5. The most innovative country in the world
In 2018, Switzerland ranked first for the eighth consecutive year as the most innovative country in the world in The Global Innovation Index.
In particular, the canton Vaud’s economy has undergone some major transformations. From a farming-based economy in 1860 to a land of Start-Ups today, Vaud’s economy is now one of Switzerland’s biggest and fastest-growing, thanks to its ‘large services sector, diversified manufacturing base, and focus on niche markets.”
6. 25% of the population is foreign
Switzerland has one of the highest proportions of internationals among all nations, about 24.6% in 2015. More than 80% of the foreigners living in Switzerland are from European countries and almost half of them come just from France, Germany, Italy, Portugal. With 19 entries per 1000 inhabitants on average in 2014, Switzerland is leading the European immigration countries, far ahead of Germany (11), UK (9.8), Spain (6.6) and France.
7. One of the countries with the highest quality of life
Switzerland may have some of the most expensive cities in the world to live in, but its citizens get value for money. According to the Social Progress Report, “medical”, “nutritional” and “access to basic knowledge” is where the country shines. Its index is 88.87 out of 100
8. Is home to two of the most livable cities in the world
The concept of liveability assesses which locations around the world provide the best or the worst living conditions. They look at five broad categories of Stability, Healthcare, Culture and Environment, Education and Infrastructure. Two of the most livable cities turn out to be Zurich and Geneva.
9. It’s a Nobel Prize machine
Switzerland is not only known for its banks but also for being a global player in the academic field. Swiss universities have produced 113 Nobel Laureates, and most of these Nobel Prize winners are scientists.
10. They love Alcohol!
The Swiss population consume 36 litres of wine, 56.5 litres of beer and 8.4 litres of pure alcohol per person per year. And these are new data which show consumption has actually gone down! It’s normal for 20% of the Swiss people to engage in binge drinking (4-5 drinks in a sitting) at least once a month.
As a result, there are 1600 alcohol-related deaths in Switzerland each year. Some are the result of booze-fuelled accidents, while others are caused by the long-term effects of alcoholism such as liver problems. There are about 250,000 alcoholics in Switzerland – or 3% of the population.
11. Highest salary and job security
As a result of its economic stability, Swiss adults have on average the most amount of money compared to the average amount around the world, beating out countries such as the U.S. Switzerland has the third-highest salary and job security out of all OECD countries. Swiss workers earn an average of USD 57,082 per year.
12. Switzerland has 208 mountains and the highest number of peaks in Europe
Switzerland is home to 208 mountains over 3,000 meters high. A beautiful experience for in-shape hikers is the Chamonix-Zermatt Haute Route, a 12-day classic Alpine trek that will bring you straight to the well-recognized Matterhorn. Switzerland has more high peaks than any other country in Europe with 48 that are above 4000 meters.
13: Assisted suicide is legal and it attracts ‘suicide tourists’!
According to Swiss law, anyone who is of sound mind and who has, over a period of time, voiced a consistent wish to end their life can request a so-called assisted voluntary death or AVD. However, people must commit suicide by their own hand, for example by taking the medication themselves.
This has lead to an influx of people called ‘suicide tourists’ who come to Switzerland, mainly to the Canton of Zurich, for the sole purpose of committing suicide. A total of 956 (539 women and 426 men) people made use of these services in 2015 according to official figures, up from 187 in 2003. There is a steadily rising trend, although assisted suicides are still only a tiny proportion of all deaths in Switzerland. The total cost is therefore 7,500 francs without funeral and administrative services and 10,500 francs with those services – usually payable in advance.
14. 1/3 of all deaths are from heart disease
The latest cause of death survey from the Federal Statistical Office showed that 21,512 – or one-third of all deaths in Switzerland in 2013 – could be traced back to heart disease. That figure, however, has decreased since 20 years ago, when it stood at 41%. Cancer was responsible for another 26% of deaths. Lung cancer, shown to be the most deadly form of the disease in Switzerland for more than 40 years, claimed about 3,200 lives in 2013.
Due to Switzerland’s aging population, the number of deaths linked to dementia is on the rise. In 2013, nearly 6,000 deaths in the country were a direct cause of dementia, while in 1995, that figure stood at 2,100.
15. Low rates of people living in poverty
Some 530,000 people in Switzerland are listed as living on the poverty line, based on a monthly income of CHF2,219 ($2,275.40) for single people and CHF4,031 for families of two adults and two children. That’s 6.6% of the population – compared to 9.3% in 2007.
The proportion of the Swiss population living in extreme poverty (4.6%) is one of the lowest in Europe (18.6% average). Some 9.7% of the Swiss population cannot afford a week’s holiday abroad – the European average is 36.9%.