Ticino Facts & Figures All about Switzerland

Take a look behind the scenes to discover more about this country that is more complex than it at first seems.

Switzerland in a nutshell

Switzerland is a small, landlocked country in the heart of Europe. It is wealthy, densely populated and well-known for its mountains, chocolate, cheese and watches. Swiss society is complex and organised. Although citizens don't share one linguistic or ethnic identity they are linked by a common historic background and federal system of direct democracy.

The Swiss World website is a good place to start familiarising with the basics of the country, its history and its resources.

Swiss facts and figures

  • Surrounding countries: Germany, France, Italy, Austria and Liechtenstein
  • Confederation founded: 1291
  • Surface area: 41,285 km² (as compared to France, which has a surface area of 640,000 km2)  
  • Cantons: 26
  • Capital city: Bern
  • Currency: Swiss Franc (CHF)
  • Population: 8 million
  • Average percentage of foreigners: 23.3 %
  • Cities with the highest percentages of foreigners: Geneva 39.4%; Basel Stadt 33.1%
  • Average population density: 198.9/km²
  • Highest population density: Basel Stadt 5033.9/km²; Geneva 1873.5/km²; Zurich 838.3/km²
  • 74% of the Swiss population lives in urban areas and half of this number live in the 5 largest cities
  • GDP 2012: CHF 592 Billion
  • Unemployment rate: 3.2 % (2013)
  • Average life expectancy: women: 84; men: 80

Source: Swiss Federal Statistical Office

Languages in Switzerland

Switzerland has four national languages, German, French, Italian and Romansh. Almost two-thirds of the population speak Swiss-German, a regionally spoken Alemannic dialect. High German is the written language and the medium of instruction in schools. Around 22.6% of the population speak French, and 8.34% Italian. Only 0.5% speak Romansh. Other spoken languages include Serbo-Croatian, Albanian, Portuguese, Spanish, English and Turkish. 

 

 

 

Source: Swiss Federal Statistical Office

Introduction to Ticino

The Canton of Ticino borders Italy and Italian is its official language. The biggest cities in Ticino are Lugano, Bellinzona, Locarno and Medrisio. With its natural beauty, milder climate and more annual sunshine than anywhere else in Switzerland, Ticino is popular as a holiday destination. Palm trees, piazzas and ice cream bars enhance the Italian atmosphere. Hiking on Monte Tamaro, San Salvatore and Monte Brè  and lake cruises on the Lugano and Maggiore lakes are popular activities. Ticino is renowned for its charming Grottos, local garden restaurants serving specialities such as salami, merlot wine, cheese, risotto and polenta. Locarno hosts the popular Film festival and Moon and Stars Music Festival in summer. September and early October are great for sunny autumn breaks and gathering chestnuts in the forests. Swiss Miniature is an open air park showing Switzerland's main attractions in miniature. Ticino is a great shopping destination, with jewellers, clothing boutiques and delicatessens in Lugano's historical Via Nassa.

Photo: swiss-image.ch/Enrico Boggia

Author: François Enzler

After more than 10 years’ experience in relocation in Switzerland, François is now heading the Packimpex Academy which provides over 30 different training courses specific to the needs of the relocation industry. His experience of the daily challenges faced by relocation consultants flows directly into the training courses designed and led by the Packimpex Academy.

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