Ludwig von Mises Institute

Switzerland

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Country summary

Capital

Bern

Borders

Austria 164 km, France 573 km, Italy 740 km, Liechtenstein 41 km, Germany 334 km

Government type

formally a confederation but similar in structure to a federal republic

Population

7,604,467 (July 2010 est.)[1]

Population growth

0.276% (2010 est.)[1]

Life expectancy

80.85 years[1]

Unemployment

4.4% (February 2010 est.)[1]

Index of Economic Freedom

6[2]

Corruption Perceptions Index

5[3]

Doing Business ranking

21[4]


The Swiss Confederation was founded in 1291 as a defensive alliance among three cantons. In succeeding years, other localities joined the original three. The Swiss Confederation secured its independence from the Holy Roman Empire in 1499. A constitution of 1848, subsequently modified in 1874, replaced the confederation with a centralized federal government. Switzerland's sovereignty and neutrality have long been honored by the major European powers, and the country was not involved in either of the two World Wars. The political and economic integration of Europe over the past half century, as well as Switzerland's role in many UN and international organizations, has strengthened Switzerland's ties with its neighbors. However, the country did not officially become a UN member until 2002. Switzerland remains active in many UN and international organizations but retains a strong commitment to neutrality.[1]

Economical characteristics[edit]

  • Currency: Swiss franc (ISO code: CHF)
  • Central bank discount rate: 0.05% (31 December 2008)[1]
  • Commercial banks lending rate: 3.34% (31 December 2008)[1]
  • Stock of money (M1): $275.5 billion (31 December 2008 est.)[1]
  • Quasi money (with M1 makes M2): $454.2 billion (31 December 2008 est.)[1]

Notable events:[edit]

Statistics[edit]

Statistic / Year 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
GDP (million USD)[6] 268 212 249 918 254 990 278 621 325 040 362 991 371 939 388 452 426 643 491 950
Govt. debt (% of GDP)[7] 25.379 25.614 24.822 28.306 28.284 28.078 28.151 25.378 23.601
Govt. revenue (% of GDP)[8] 23.141 24.318 18.456 19.213 18.398 18.055 18.336 18.574 18.269
Govt. expenses (% of GDP)[9] 26.491 25.514 18.589 18.992 19.584 19.394 19.170 18.399 17.633
Debt to revenue (years) 1.097 1.053 1.345 1.473 1.537 1.555 1.535 1.366 1.292

References[edit]

Note: statistical data was rounded. Different sources may use different methodologies for their estimates. Debt to revenue is calculated by dividing the two variables from their original ('unrounded') values. It represents how long it would a government take to repay its entire debt if it used its whole revenue for this purpose.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 CIA - The World Factbook. "Switzerland", from The World Factbook. Referenced 2010-09-29.
  2. Heritage Foundation. "Switzerland", Economic Freedom Score. A lower ranking is better; but please be careful when comparing between different countries or years. Referenced 2010-09-29.
  3. Transparency International. "Switzerland", Corruption Perceptions Index 2009. A lower ranking is better; but please note that the numbers cannot be compared between countries or years due to different methodology. Referenced 2010-09-29.
  4. Doing Business. "Switzerland", Doing Business 2010 (part of The World Bank Group). A lower ranking is better; but please be careful when comparing between different countries or years. Referenced 2010-09-29.
  5. Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff. "This Time is Different", Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0-691-14216-6, p. 384. (The list does not claim to be complete.) Referenced 2011-07-21.
  6. World Bank. "Switzerland: GDP", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-09-29.
  7. World Bank. "Switzerland: government debt", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-09-29.
  8. World Bank. "Switzerland: government revenue", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-09-29.
  9. World Bank. "Switzerland: government expenses", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-09-29.

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