19 fascinating facts about Switzerland you didn't know

Chocolate, watches and banking are just a few of the things Switzerland is famous for. Explore the unique features of Switzerland and learn some interesting facts about Switzerland for kids. Here's what you can learn about Swiss culture, quirky customs and inventions.

1. Late marriages among the Swiss

According to a United Nations report, the average age of marriage among the Swiss is 31.8 years for men and 29.5 years for women. At the same time, according to The Local CH, the divorce rate in Switzerland is around 40%, and according to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, the average age of first birth for Swiss women is 30.4 years, the oldest in Europe.

2. European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)

Switzerland is home to the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), one of the world's leading centers for research in particle physics. For international students, Swiss universities will be an easy and excellent choice as Swiss STEM majors are prestigious and offer many scholarships.

3. Universities are inexpensive

For example, at the famous University of Geneva, tuition fees are CHF 500 per semester or CHF 1,000 per academic year. This price range is typical for public universities, but you can easily find more expensive private universities. Nevertheless, compared to American universities, they are very cheap!

4. Switzerland has 7,000 lakes

The lakes in Switzerland are great for swimming, and there are plenty to choose from. Lake Geneva is the largest lake in Switzerland, with an area of 580.03 km² (224 square miles). 40.47% of its area is French territory, known as Lake Geneva. The largest lake in Switzerland is Lake Neuchâtel, with an area of 218.3 km² (84 square miles). The fresh water in Switzerland is so pure that you can drink it from rivers and lakes. A lake is only considered polluted if its bottom is not visible.

5. Lots of guns

Switzerland has one of the highest rates of gun ownership among developed countries. However, this does not necessarily mean a high crime rate. In fact, Switzerland has the lowest crime rate of any developed country. The reason why so many people own guns in Switzerland is because of compulsory military service. Everyone must carry a rifle or pistol when doing military service.

6. Very small area

Switzerland has an area of about 41,277 square kilometers and a population of 8.67 million. When compared to EU states, California is about ten times the size of Switzerland and is equal in area to Vermont and New Hampshire combined. But California is much more famous.

7. 25% of the population was born abroad

According to swissinfo, Switzerland has the highest proportion of foreign-born residents of any country - about 24.6% in 2015. More than 80% of foreigners born in Switzerland are from European countries, with France, Germany, Italy and Portugal alone accounting for almost half of the total. With an average of 19 immigrants per 1,000 inhabitants in 2014, Switzerland is well ahead of Germany (11), the UK (9.8), Spain (6.6) and France (5.1), making it the country with the highest number of immigrants in Europe.

8. One of the countries with the highest quality of life

Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries in the world. According to the Social Progress Report, Switzerland has the most pronounced scores in "health", "nutrition" and "access to basic knowledge". Its index is 88.87 out of 100.

9. Few people are obese

Another reason Switzerland is a great place to live that you may not have thought about is its healthy lifestyle. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Switzerland is the least obese country in Europe, with 17.5% of the population obese. If you lived in the EU, you would be twice as likely to be obese - 33% of the population is overweight.

Zurich is one of the most expensive cities in the world

10. One of the most expensive countries

Zurich is the third most expensive city in the world, according to the World Cost of Living Study and Mercer Cost of Living Study. Zurich is also the most populous canton with a population of 402,762. The average cost of living in Zurich is CHF 13,000 (BGN 13,036) per square meter and the average rent for a three-bedroom apartment is CHF 2,324 (BGN 2,330). Meanwhile, the average salary is 103,296 Swiss francs (103,298 dollars).

11. The two best cities in the world to live in

The Joy of Living ranking is a ranking of the world's cities that are the most or least pleasant to live in. It is divided into five categories: stability, health, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. The two most pleasant cities to live in are Zurich and Geneva.

12. Science books

Switzerland is known worldwide not only for its banking sector, but also for its academia. Judging from the list on Wikipedia, Swiss universities have awarded many Nobel Prizes, most of which are scientific.

13. Drinking a lot

The Swiss consume 36 liters of wine, 56.5 liters of beer and 8.4 liters of pure alcohol per person per year. This is new data showing that consumption is declining! Twenty percent of Swiss people usually have at least one drink a month (four to five drinks at a time).

As a result, there are 1,600 alcohol-related deaths in Switzerland each year. Some of these are related to alcohol-related accidents, others to the long-term consequences of alcoholism, such as liver damage. According to the Swiss Alcohol Monitoring Report, there are about 250,000 alcoholics in Switzerland, or 3% of the population.

14. Switzerland has four official languages

Switzerland has four official languages: French (20.4%), German (64%), Italian (6.5%) and Romani (just over 1%). Since the Swiss do not understand Swiss, it is possible that foreign visitors and residents do not understand what they are saying.

15. Switzerland's population is aging

In the 1950s, the average age of the Swiss was 33, but this has increased over the years: in 2015, the average age of the Swiss population was 42.2. On the other hand, Switzerland has the highest proportion of people over 100 in Europe and the second highest life expectancy after Japan. Of course, given the clean air, abundance of footpaths and access to quality health care, they will live longer.

16. 15% of the Alps are in Switzerland

The Swiss Alps are the most important tourist destination in Switzerland. Although less than 15% of the Alps are located in Switzerland, it is the country most closely associated with the Alps.

17. Low unemployment rate

According to 2017 statistics, the unemployment rate in Switzerland is only 4.8%. This low rate is due to the country's relatively prosperous and stable economy. Most Swiss have a relatively high level of education and work in professional occupations that tend to provide well-paid, high-quality jobs that often guarantee high levels of productivity and efficiency.

18. High wages and job security

According to the OECD, thanks to Switzerland's economic stability, Swiss adults earn the highest wages in the world and even more than in countries such as the United States. Switzerland ranks third among OECD countries for wage and employment stability.

19. There are 208 mountains in Switzerland

Switzerland has many mountains up to 3000 meters high. The Chamonix-Zermatt High Route is a 12-day classic alpine trek that allows physically fit hikers to climb right up to the famous Matterhorn. Switzerland has more high peaks than any other European country.


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