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Switzerland Geography Profile 2017

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LocationCentral Europe, east of France, north of Italy
Geographic coordinates47 00 N, 8 00 E
Map referencesEurope
Areatotal: 41,277 sq km
land: 39,997 sq km
water: 1,280 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly less than twice the size of New Jersey
Land boundariestotal: 1,770 km
border countries (5): Austria 158 km, France 525 km, Italy 698 km, Liechtenstein 41 km, Germany 348 km
Coastline0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claimsnone (landlocked)
Climatetemperate, but varies with altitude; cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters; cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers
Terrainmostly mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) with a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 1,350 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Lake Maggiore 195 m
highest point: Dufourspitze 4,634 m
Natural resourceshydropower potential, timber, salt
Land useagricultural land: 38.7%
arable land 10.2%; permanent crops 0.6%; permanent pasture 27.9%
forest: 31.5%
other: 29.8% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land630 sq km (2012)
Population distributionpopulation distribution corresponds to elevation with the northern and western areas far more heavily populated; the higher Alps of the south limit settlement
Natural hazardsavalanches, landslides; flash floods
Environment - current issuesair pollution from vehicle emissions and open-air burning; acid rain; water pollution from increased use of agricultural fertilizers; loss of biodiversity
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography - notelandlocked; crossroads of northern and southern Europe; along with southeastern France, northern Italy, and southwestern Austria, has the highest elevations in the Alps

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017

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