Lucerne Facts & Figures All about Switzerland

Take a moment to discover the complexity and diversity of Switzerland.

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

Lucerne general information

Lucerne is the economic, social and cultural centre of central Switzerland. The city is located 436 m above sea level and has a population of 75'500. Temperatures average 25 °C in summer and -3 °C in winter.    

Noteworthy attractions include the Chapel Bridge and the Lion Monument. With its direct access to the Lake of Lucerne, the Vierwaldstättersee, Lucerne is an ideal starting point for boat cruises to the neighbouring cantons of Nidwalden, Obwalden and Schwyz. The nearby mountains of Rigi, Stanserhorn, Bürgenstock and Pilatus attract thousands of visitors every year. Classical music lovers flock to the annual Lucerne Festival held at the Kultur und Kongresszentrum Lucerne (KKL). Read more about these aspects of the area in the articles Enjoying Lucerne and Entertainment, News & Media in Lucerne


Photo: Marco Castelberg & Maurice Haas

Author: karen marie schoendorf

Karen is the Branch Manager for Packimpex's offices in Zurich and Zug. Originally from England, Karen lived for many years in Germany and has now settled in Switzerland. Prior to joining Packimpex Karen was the Director for Berlitz in Zurich and in Germany.

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