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Germany vs. Switzerland

Introduction

GermanySwitzerland
Background

As Europe's largest economy and second most populous nation (after Russia), Germany is a key member of the continent's economic, political, and defense organizations. European power struggles immersed Germany in two devastating world wars in the first half of the 20th century and left the country occupied by the victorious Allied powers of the US, UK, France, and the Soviet Union in 1945. With the advent of the Cold War, two German states were formed in 1949: the western Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the eastern German Democratic Republic (GDR). The democratic FRG embedded itself in key western economic and security organizations, the EC (now the EU) and NATO, while the communist GDR was on the front line of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact. The decline of the USSR and the end of the Cold War allowed for German reunification in 1990. Since then, Germany has expended considerable funds to bring eastern productivity and wages up to western standards. In January 1999, Germany and 10 other EU countries introduced a common European exchange currency, the euro.

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 to allow voters to introduce referenda on proposed laws, 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.

 

Geography

GermanySwitzerland
LocationCentral Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, between the Netherlands and Poland, south of DenmarkCentral Europe, east of France, north of Italy
Geographic coordinates51 00 N, 9 00 E47 00 N, 8 00 E
Map referencesEuropeEurope
Areatotal: 357,022 sq km

land: 348,672 sq km

water: 8,350 sq km
total: 41,277 sq km

land: 39,997 sq km

water: 1,280 sq km
Area - comparativethree times the size of Pennsylvania; slightly smaller than Montanaslightly less than twice the size of New Jersey
Land boundariestotal: 3,694 km

border countries (9): Austria 801 km, Belgium 133 km, Czechia 704 km, Denmark 140 km, France 418 km, Luxembourg 128 km, Netherlands 575 km, Poland 447 km, Switzerland 348 km
total: 1,770 km

border countries (5): Austria 158 km, France 525 km, Italy 698 km, Liechtenstein 41 km, Germany 348 km
Coastline2,389 km0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
none (landlocked)
Climatetemperate and marine; cool, cloudy, wet winters and summers; occasional warm mountain (foehn) windtemperate, but varies with altitude; cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters; cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers
Terrainlowlands in north, uplands in center, Bavarian Alps in southmostly mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) with a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes
Elevation extremeshighest point: Zugspitze 2,963 m

lowest point: Neuendorf bei Wilster -3.5 m

mean elevation: 263 m
highest point: Dufourspitze 4,634 m

lowest point: Lake Maggiore 195 m

mean elevation: 1,350 m
Natural resourcescoal, lignite, natural gas, iron ore, copper, nickel, uranium, potash, salt, construction materials, timber, arable landhydropower potential, timber, salt
Land useagricultural land: 48% (2018 est.)

arable land: 34.1% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.6% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 13.3% (2018 est.)

forest: 31.8% (2018 est.)

other: 20.2% (2018 est.)
agricultural land: 38.7% (2018 est.)

arable land: 10.2% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.6% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 27.9% (2018 est.)

forest: 31.5% (2018 est.)

other: 29.8% (2018 est.)
Irrigated land6,500 sq km (2012)630 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsfloodingavalanches, landslides; flash floods
Environment - current issuesemissions from coal-burning utilities and industries contribute to air pollution; acid rain, resulting from sulfur dioxide emissions, is damaging forests; pollution in the Baltic Sea from raw sewage and industrial effluents from rivers in eastern Germany; hazardous waste disposal; government established a mechanism for ending the use of nuclear power by 2022; government working to meet EU commitment to identify nature preservation areas in line with the EU's Flora, Fauna, and Habitat directiveair pollution from vehicle emissions; water pollution from agricultural fertilizers; chemical contaminants and erosion damage the soil and limit productivity; loss of biodiversity
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Heavy Metals, Air Pollution-Multi-effect Protocol, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protection, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Marine Dumping-London Protocol, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Heavy Metals, Air Pollution-Multi-effect Protocol, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protection, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Marine Dumping-London Protocol, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - notestrategic location on North European Plain and along the entrance to the Baltic Sea; most major rivers in Germany - the Rhine, Weser, Oder, Elbe - flow northward; the Danube, which originates in the Black Forest, flows eastwardlandlocked; crossroads of northern and southern Europe; along with southeastern France, northern Italy, and southwestern Austria, has the highest elevations in the Alps
Total renewable water resources154 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)53.5 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)
Population distributionmost populous country in Europe; a fairly even distribution throughout most of the country, with urban areas attracting larger and denser populations, particularly in the far western part of the industrial state of North Rhine-Westphaliapopulation distribution corresponds to elevation with the northern and western areas far more heavily populated; the higher Alps of the south limit settlement

Demographics

GermanySwitzerland
Population79,903,481 (July 2021 est.)8,453,550 (July 2021 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 12.89% (male 5,302,850/female 5,025,863)

15-24 years: 9.81% (male 4,012,412/female 3,854,471)

25-54 years: 38.58% (male 15,553,328/female 15,370,417)

55-64 years: 15.74% (male 6,297,886/female 6,316,024)

65 years and over: 22.99% (male 8,148,873/female 10,277,538) (2020 est.)
0-14 years: 15.34% (male 664,255/female 625,252)

15-24 years: 10.39% (male 446,196/female 426,708)

25-54 years: 42.05% (male 1,768,245/female 1,765,941)

55-64 years: 13.48% (male 569,717/female 563,482)

65 years and over: 18.73% (male 699,750/female 874,448) (2020 est.)
Median agetotal: 47.8 years

male: 46.5 years

female: 49.1 years (2020 est.)
total: 42.7 years

male: 41.7 years

female: 43.7 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate-0.21% (2021 est.)0.65% (2021 est.)
Birth rate8.63 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)10.41 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Death rate12.22 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)8.44 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Net migration rate1.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)4.55 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female

total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 3.24 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 3.61 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 2.84 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)
total: 3.64 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 4.15 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 3.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 81.3 years

male: 78.93 years

female: 83.8 years (2021 est.)
total population: 83.03 years

male: 80.71 years

female: 85.49 years (2021 est.)
Total fertility rate1.48 children born/woman (2021 est.)1.58 children born/woman (2021 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.1% (2020 est.)0.2% (2020)
Nationalitynoun: German(s)

adjective: German
noun: Swiss (singular and plural)

adjective: Swiss
Ethnic groupsGerman 86.3%, Turkish 1.8%, Polish 1%, Syrian 1%, Romanian 1%, other/stateless/unspecified 8.9% (2020 est.)

note:  data represent population by nationality
Swiss 69.3%, German 4.2%, Italian 3.2%, Portuguese 2.5%, French 2.1%, Kosovo 1.1%, Turkish 1%, other 16.6% (2019 est.)

note: data represent permanent and non-permanent resident population by country of birth
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS93,000 (2020 est.)

note: estimate does not include children
17,000 (2020)

note: estimate does not include children
ReligionsRoman Catholic 27.1%, Protestant 24.9%, Muslim 5.2%, Orthodox 2%, other Christian 1%, other 1%, none 38.8% (2019 est.)Roman Catholic 34.4%, Protestant 22.5%, other Christian 5.7%, Muslim 5.5%, other 1.6%, none 29.5%, unspecified 0.8% (2019 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths<500 (2020 est.)

note: estimate does not include children
<200 (2020)

note: estimate does not include children
LanguagesGerman (official); note - Danish, Frisian, Sorbian, and Romani are official minority languages; Low German, Danish, North Frisian, Sater Frisian, Lower Sorbian, Upper Sorbian, and Romani are recognized as regional languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

major-language sample(s):
Das World Factbook, die unverzichtbare Quelle für grundlegende Informationen. (German)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.
German (or Swiss German) (official) 62.1%, French (official) 22.8%, Italian (official) 8%, English 5.7%, Portuguese 3.5%, Albanian 3.3%, Serbo-Croatian 2.3%, Spanish 2.3%, Romansh (official) 0.5%, other 7.9%; note - German, French, Italian, and Romansh are all national and official languages; shares sum to more than 100% because respondents could indicate more than one main language (2019 est.)

major-language sample(s):
Das World Factbook, die unverzichtbare Quelle für grundlegende Informationen. (German)

The World Factbook, une source indispensable d'informations de base. (French)

L'Almanacco dei fatti del mondo, l'indispensabile fonte per le informazioni di base. (Italian)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 17 years

male: 17 years

female: 17 years (2018)
total: 16 years

male: 17 years

female: 16 years (2018)
Education expenditures4.9% of GDP (2017)5.1% of GDP (2017)
Urbanizationurban population: 77.5% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 0.13% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)
urban population: 74% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 0.79% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2017 est.)
improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2017 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2017 est.)
improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2017 est.)
Major cities - population3.567 million BERLIN (capital), 1.789 million Hamburg, 1.553 million Munich, 1.129 million Cologne, 785,000 Frankfurt (2021)1.408 million Zurich, 434,000 BERN (capital) (2021)
Maternal mortality rate7 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)5 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Health expenditures11.4% (2018)11.9% (2018)
Physicians density4.25 physicians/1,000 population (2017)4.3 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
Hospital bed density8 beds/1,000 population (2017)4.7 beds/1,000 population (2017)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate22.3% (2016)19.5% (2016)
Mother's mean age at first birth29.8 years (2019 est.)30.7 years (2019 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate67% (2018)

note: percent of women aged 18-49
71.6% (2017)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 55.4

youth dependency ratio: 21.7

elderly dependency ratio: 33.7

potential support ratio: 3 (2020 est.)
total dependency ratio: 51.6

youth dependency ratio: 22.7

elderly dependency ratio: 29

potential support ratio: 3.5 (2020 est.)

Government

GermanySwitzerland
Country nameconventional long form: Federal Republic of Germany

conventional short form: Germany

local long form: Bundesrepublik Deutschland

local short form: Deutschland

former: German Reich

etymology: the Gauls (Celts) of Western Europe may have referred to the newly arriving Germanic tribes who settled in neighboring areas east of the Rhine during the first centuries B.C. as "Germani," a term the Romans adopted as "Germania"; the native designation "Deutsch" comes from the Old High German "diutisc" meaning "of the people"
conventional long form: Swiss Confederation

conventional short form: Switzerland

local long form: Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft (German); Confederation Suisse (French); Confederazione Svizzera (Italian); Confederaziun Svizra (Romansh)

local short form: Schweiz (German); Suisse (French); Svizzera (Italian); Svizra (Romansh)

abbreviation: CH

etymology: name derives from the canton of Schwyz, one of the founding cantons of the Old Swiss Confederacy that formed in the 14th century

 
Government typefederal parliamentary republicfederal republic (formally a confederation)
Capitalname: Berlin

geographic coordinates: 52 31 N, 13 24 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

etymology: the origin of the name is unclear but may be related to the old West Slavic (Polabian) word "berl" or "birl," meaning "swamp"
name: Bern

geographic coordinates: 46 55 N, 7 28 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

etymology: origin of the name is uncertain, but may derive from a 2nd century B.C. Celtic place name, possibly "berna" meaning "cleft," that was subsequently adopted by a Roman settlement  
Administrative divisions16 states (Laender, singular - Land); Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bayern (Bavaria), Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hessen (Hesse), Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania), Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony), Nordrhein-Westfalen (North Rhine-Westphalia), Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate), Saarland, Sachsen (Saxony), Sachsen-Anhalt (Saxony-Anhalt), Schleswig-Holstein, Thueringen (Thuringia); note - Bayern, Sachsen, and Thueringen refer to themselves as free states (Freistaaten, singular - Freistaat), while Bremen calls itself a Free Hanseatic City (Freie Hansestadt) and Hamburg considers itself a Free and Hanseatic City (Freie und Hansestadt)26 cantons (cantons, singular - canton in French; cantoni, singular - cantone in Italian; Kantone, singular - Kanton in German); Aargau, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, Berne/Bern, Fribourg/Freiburg, Geneve (Geneva), Glarus, Graubuenden/Grigioni/Grischun, Jura, Luzern, Neuchatel, Nidwalden, Obwalden, Sankt Gallen, Schaffhausen, Schwyz, Solothurn, Thurgau, Ticino, Uri, Valais/Wallis, Vaud, Zug, Zuerich

note: 6 of the cantons - Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, Nidwalden, Obwalden - are referred to as half cantons because they elect only one member (instead of two) to the Council of States and, in popular referendums where a majority of popular votes and a majority of cantonal votes are required, these 6 cantons only have a half vote
Independence18 January 1871 (establishment of the German Empire); divided into four zones of occupation (UK, US, USSR, and France) in 1945 following World War II; Federal Republic of Germany (FRG or West Germany) proclaimed on 23 May 1949 and included the former UK, US, and French zones; German Democratic Republic (GDR or East Germany) proclaimed on 7 October 1949 and included the former USSR zone; West Germany and East Germany unified on 3 October 1990; all four powers formally relinquished rights on 15 March 1991; notable earlier dates: 10 August 843 (Eastern Francia established from the division of the Carolingian Empire); 2 February 962 (crowning of OTTO I, recognized as the first Holy Roman Emperor)1 August 1291 (founding of the Swiss Confederation)
National holidayGerman Unity Day, 3 October (1990)Founding of the Swiss Confederation in 1291; note - since 1 August 1891 celebrated as Swiss National Day
Constitutionhistory: previous 1919 (Weimar Constitution); latest drafted 10-23 August 1948, approved 12 May 1949, promulgated 23 May 1949, entered into force 24 May 1949

amendments: proposed by Parliament; passage and enactment into law require two-thirds majority vote by both the Bundesrat (upper house) and the Bundestag (lower house) of Parliament; articles including those on basic human rights and freedoms cannot be amended; amended many times, last in 2020; note - in early 2021, the German federal government introduced a bill to incorporate children’s rights into the constitution
history: previous 1848, 1874; latest adopted by referendum 18 April 1999, effective 1 January 2000

amendments: proposed by the two houses of the Federal Assembly or by petition of at least one hundred thousand voters (called the "federal popular initiative"); passage of proposals requires majority vote in a referendum; following drafting of an amendment by the Assembly, its passage requires approval by majority vote in a referendum and approval by the majority of cantons; amended many times, last in 2018
Legal systemcivil law systemcivil law system; judicial review of legislative acts, except for federal decrees of a general obligatory character
Suffrage18 years of age; universal; age 16 for some state and municipal elections18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Frank-Walter STEINMEIER (since 19 March 2017)

head of government: Chancellor Angela MERKEL (since 22 November 2005)

cabinet: Cabinet or Bundesminister (Federal Ministers) recommended by the chancellor, appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by a Federal Convention consisting of all members of the Federal Parliament (Bundestag) and an equivalent number of delegates indirectly elected by the state parliaments; president serves a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 12 February 2017 (next to be held in February 2022); following the most recent Federal Parliament election, the party or coalition with the most representatives usually elects the chancellor (Angela MERKEL since 2005) and appointed by the president to serve a renewable 4-year term; Federal Parliament vote for chancellor last held on 14 March 2018 (next to be held after the Bundestag elections in 2021)

election results: Frank-Walter STEINMEIER elected president; Federal Convention vote count - Frank-Walter STEINMEIER (SPD) 931, Christopher BUTTERWEGGE (The Left) 128, Albrecht GLASER (Alternative for Germany AfD) 42, Alexander HOLD (BVB/FW) 25, Engelbert SONNEBORN (Pirates) 10; Angela MERKEL (CDU) reelected chancellor; Federal Parliament vote - 364 to 315
chief of state:

President of the Swiss Confederation Guy PARMELIN (since 1 January 2021); Vice President  Ignazio CASSIS (since 1 January 2021); note - the Federal Council, which is comprised of 7 federal councillors, constitutes the federal government of Switzerland; council members rotate the 1-year term of federal president



head of government: President of the Swiss Confederation Guy PARMELIN (since 1 January 2021; Vice President Ignazio CASSIS (since 1 January 2021)

cabinet: Federal Council or Bundesrat (in German), Conseil Federal (in French), Consiglio Federale (in Italian) indirectly elected by the Federal Assembly for a 4-year term

elections/appointments: president and vice president elected by the Federal Assembly from among members of the Federal Council for a 1-year, non-consecutive term; election last held on 11 December 2019 (next to be held in December 2020)

election results: Guy PARMELIN elected president; Federal Assembly vote - 192 of 205; Ignazio CASSIS elected vice president; Federal Assembly vote - 162 of 199

Legislative branchdescription: bicameral Parliament or Parlament consists of:
Federal Council or Bundesrat (69 seats; members appointed by each of the 16 state governments)
Federal Diet or Bundestag (709 seats - total seats can vary each electoral term; approximately one-half of members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and approximately one-half directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote; members serve 4-year terms)

elections:
Bundesrat - none; composition is determined by the composition of the state-level governments; the composition of the Bundesrat has the potential to change any time one of the 16 states holds an election
Bundestag - last held on 24 September 2017 (next to be held in 2021 at the latest); most postwar German governments have been coalitions

election results:
Bundesrat - composition - men 50, women 19, percent of women 27.5%
Bundestag - percent of vote by party - CDU/CSU 33%, SPD 20.5%, AfD 12.6%, FDP 10.7%, The Left 9.2%, Alliance '90/Greens 8.9%, other 5%; seats by party - CDU/CSU 246, SPD 152, AfD 91, FDP 80, The Left 69, Alliance '90/Greens 67; composition - men 490, women 219, percent of women 30.5%; note - total Parliament percent of women 30.5%
description: description: bicameral Federal Assembly or Bundesversammlung (in German), Assemblée Fédérale (in French), Assemblea Federale (in Italian) consists of:
Council of States or Ständerat (in German), Conseil des États (in French), Consiglio degli Stati (in Italian) (46 seats; members in multi-seat constituencies representing cantons and single-seat constituencies representing half cantons directly elected by simple majority vote except Jura and Neuchatel cantons which use proportional representation vote; member term governed by cantonal law)
National Council or Nationalrat (in German), Conseil National (in French), Consiglio Nazionale (in Italian) (200 seats; 195 members in cantons directly elected by proportional representation vote and 6 in half cantons directly elected by simple majority vote; members serve 4-year terms) (e.g. 2019)

elections:
Council of States - last held in most cantons on 20 October 2019 (each canton determines when the next election will be held)
National Council - last held on 20 October 2019 (next to be held in 2023) (e.g. 2019)

election results:
Council of States - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CVP 13, FDP 12, SDP 9, Green Party 5, other 1; composition - NA
National Council - percent of vote by party - SVP 25.6%, SP 16.8%, FDP 15.1%, Green Party 13.2%, CVP 11.4%, GLP 7.8%, other 10.1%; seats by party - SVP 53, SP 39, FDP 29, Green Party 28, CVP 25, GLP 16, other 10; composition - men 116, women 84, percent of women 42% (e.g. 2019)
Judicial branchhighest courts: Federal Court of Justice (court consists of 127 judges, including the court president, vice presidents, presiding judges, other judges and organized into 25 Senates subdivided into 12 civil panels, 5 criminal panels, and 8 special panels); Federal Constitutional Court or Bundesverfassungsgericht (consists of 2 Senates each subdivided into 3 chambers, each with a chairman and 8 members)

judge selection and term of office: Federal Court of Justice judges selected by the Judges Election Committee, which consists of the Secretaries of Justice from each of the 16 federated states and 16 members appointed by the Federal Parliament; judges appointed by the president; judges serve until mandatory retirement at age 65; Federal Constitutional Court judges - one-half elected by the House of Representatives and one-half by the Senate; judges appointed for 12-year terms with mandatory retirement at age 68

subordinate courts: Federal Administrative Court; Federal Finance Court; Federal Labor Court; Federal Social Court; each of the 16 federated states or Land has its own constitutional court and a hierarchy of ordinary (civil, criminal, family) and specialized (administrative, finance, labor, social) courts; two English-speaking commercial courts opened in late 2020 in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg - English-speaking Stuttgart Commercial Court and English-speaking Mannheim Commercial Court
highest courts: Federal Supreme Court (consists of 38 justices and 19 deputy justices organized into 7 divisions)

judge selection and term of office: judges elected by the Federal Assembly for 6-year terms; note - judges are affiliated with political parties and are elected according to linguistic and regional criteria in approximate proportion to the level of party representation in the Federal Assembly

subordinate courts: Federal Criminal Court (established in 2004); Federal Administrative Court (established in 2007); note - each of Switzerland's 26 cantons has its own courts
Political parties and leadersAlliance '90/Greens [Annalena BAERBOCK and Robert HABECK]
Alternative for Germany or AfD [Alexander GAULAND - Honorary President, Joerg MEUTHEN and Tino CHRUPALLA]
Christian Democratic Union or CDU [Armin LASCHET]
Christian Social Union or CSU [Markus SOEDER]
Free Democratic Party or FDP [Christian LINDNER]
The Left or Die Linke [Janine WISSLER and Susanne HENNING-WELLSOW]
Social Democratic Party or SPD [Saskia ESKEN and Norbert WALTER-BORJANS]
Free Democratic Party or FDP.The Liberals (FDP.Die Liberalen, PLR.Les Liberaux-Radicaux, PLR.I Liberali, Ils Liberals) [Petra GOESSI]
Green Liberal Party (Gruenliberale Partei or GLP, Parti vert liberale or PVL, Partito Verde-Liberale or PVL, Partida Verde Liberale or PVL) [Juerg GROSSEN]
Green Party (Gruene Partei der Schweiz or Gruene, Parti Ecologiste Suisse or Les Verts, Partito Ecologista Svizzero or I Verdi, Partida Ecologica Svizra or La Verda) [Regula RYTZ]
Social Democratic Party (Sozialdemokratische Partei der Schweiz or SP, Parti Socialiste Suisse or PSS, Partito Socialista Svizzero or PSS, Partida Socialdemocratica de la Svizra or PSS) [Christian LEVRAT]
Swiss People's Party (Schweizerische Volkspartei or SVP, Union Democratique du Centre or UDC, Unione Democratica di Centro or UDC, Uniun Democratica dal Center or UDC) [Albert ROESTI]
other minor parties
The Center (Die Mitte, Alleanza del Centro, Le Centre, Allianza dal Center) [Gerhard PFISTER] (merger of the Christian Democratic People's Party and the Conservative Democratic Party)
International organization participationADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS, CD, CDB, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, G-20, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSMA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), SICA (observer), UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMISS, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZCADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Australia Group, BIS, CD, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EFTA, EITI (implementing country), ESA, FAO, FATF, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PFP, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMISS, UNMOGIP, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Emily Margarethe HABER (since 22 June 2018)

chancery: 4645 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20007

telephone: [1] (202) 298-4000

FAX: [1] (202) 298-4261

email address and website:
info@washington.diplo.de

https://www.germany.info/us-en

consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco
chief of mission: Ambassador Jacques PITTELOUD (since 16 September 2019)

chancery: 2201 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20007-4105

telephone: [1] (202) 745-7900

FAX: [1] (202) 387-2564

email address and website:
washington@eda.admin.ch

https://www.eda.admin.ch/washington

consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, New York, San Francisco

consulate(s): Boston
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Chargé d’Affaires Woodward "Clark" PRICE (since 1 July 2021)

embassy: Pariser Platz 2, 10117 Berlin

Clayallee 170, 14191 Berlin (administrative services)

mailing address: 5090 Berlin Place, Washington DC  20521-5090

telephone: [49] (30) 8305-0

FAX: [49] (30) 8305-1215

email address and website:
BerlinPCO@state.gov

https://de.usembassy.gov/

consulate(s) general: Dusseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Eva Weigold SCHULTZ (since 17 January 2021) note - also accredited to Liechtenstein

embassy: Sulgeneckstrasse 19, CH-3007 Bern

mailing address: 5110 Bern Place, Washington DC  20521-5110

telephone: [41] (031) 357-70-11

FAX: [41] (031) 357-73-20

email address and website:
https://ch.usembassy.gov/
Flag descriptionthree equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and gold; these colors have played an important role in German history and can be traced back to the medieval banner of the Holy Roman Emperor - a black eagle with red claws and beak on a gold fieldred square with a bold, equilateral white cross in the center that does not extend to the edges of the flag; various medieval legends purport to describe the origin of the flag; a white cross used as identification for troops of the Swiss Confederation is first attested at the Battle of Laupen (1339)

note: in 1863, a newly formed international relief organization convening in Geneva, Switzerland sought to come up with an identifying flag or logo, they chose the inverse of the Swiss flag - a red cross on a white field - as their symbol; today that organization is known throughout the world as the International Red Cross
National anthemname: "Das Lied der Deutschen" (Song of the Germans)

lyrics/music: August Heinrich HOFFMANN VON FALLERSLEBEN/Franz Joseph HAYDN

note: adopted 1922; the anthem, also known as "Deutschlandlied" (Song of Germany), was originally adopted for its connection to the March 1848 liberal revolution; following appropriation by the Nazis of the first verse, specifically the phrase, "Deutschland, Deutschland ueber alles" (Germany, Germany above all) to promote nationalism, it was banned after 1945; in 1952, its third verse was adopted by West Germany as its national anthem; in 1990, it became the national anthem for the reunited Germany
lyrics/music: Leonhard WIDMER [German], Charles CHATELANAT [French], Camillo VALSANGIACOMO [Italian], and Flurin CAMATHIAS [Romansch]/Alberik ZWYSSIG

the Swiss anthem has four names: "Schweizerpsalm" [German] "Cantique Suisse" [French] "Salmo svizzero," [Italian] "Psalm svizzer" [Romansch] (Swiss Psalm) note: unofficially adopted 1961, officially 1981; the anthem has been popular in a number of Swiss cantons since its composition (in German) in 1841; translated into the other three official languages of the country (French, Italian, and Romansch), it is official in each of those languages
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdictionaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)eagle; national colors: black, red, yellowSwiss cross (white cross on red field, arms equal length); national colors: red, white
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a German citizen or a resident alien who has lived in Germany at least 8 years

dual citizenship recognized: yes, but requires prior permission from government

residency requirement for naturalization: 8 years
citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Switzerland

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 12 years including at least 3 of the last 5 years prior to application

Economy

GermanySwitzerland
Economy - overview

The German economy - the fifth largest economy in the world in PPP terms and Europe's largest - is a leading exporter of machinery, vehicles, chemicals, and household equipment. Germany benefits from a highly skilled labor force, but, like its Western European neighbors, faces significant demographic challenges to sustained long-term growth. Low fertility rates and a large increase in net immigration are increasing pressure on the country's social welfare system and necessitate structural reforms.

Reforms launched by the government of Chancellor Gerhard SCHROEDER (1998-2005), deemed necessary to address chronically high unemployment and low average growth, contributed to strong economic growth and falling unemployment. These advances, as well as a government subsidized, reduced working hour scheme, help explain the relatively modest increase in unemployment during the 2008-09 recession - the deepest since World War II. The German Government introduced a minimum wage in 2015 that increased to $9.79 (8.84 euros) in January 2017.

Stimulus and stabilization efforts initiated in 2008 and 2009 and tax cuts introduced in Chancellor Angela MERKEL's second term increased Germany's total budget deficit - including federal, state, and municipal - to 4.1% in 2010, but slower spending and higher tax revenues reduced the deficit to 0.8% in 2011 and in 2017 Germany reached a budget surplus of 0.7%. A constitutional amendment approved in 2009 limits the federal government to structural deficits of no more than 0.35% of GDP per annum as of 2016, though the target was already reached in 2012.

Following the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, Chancellor Angela MERKEL announced in May 2011 that eight of the country's 17 nuclear reactors would be shut down immediately and the remaining plants would close by 2022. Germany plans to replace nuclear power largely with renewable energy, which accounted for 29.5% of gross electricity consumption in 2016, up from 9% in 2000. Before the shutdown of the eight reactors, Germany relied on nuclear power for 23% of its electricity generating capacity and 46% of its base-load electricity production.

The German economy suffers from low levels of investment, and a government plan to invest 15 billion euros during 2016-18, largely in infrastructure, is intended to spur needed private investment. Domestic consumption, investment, and exports are likely to drive German GDP growth in 2018, and the country’s budget and trade surpluses are likely to remain high.

Switzerland, a country that espouses neutrality, is a prosperous and modern market economy with low unemployment, a highly skilled labor force, and a per capita GDP among the highest in the world. Switzerland's economy benefits from a highly developed service sector, led by financial services, and a manufacturing industry that specializes in high-technology, knowledge-based production. Its economic and political stability, transparent legal system, exceptional infrastructure, efficient capital markets, and low corporate tax rates also make Switzerland one of the world's most competitive economies.

The Swiss have brought their economic practices largely into conformity with the EU's to gain access to the Union’s Single Market and enhance the country’s international competitiveness. Some trade protectionism remains, however, particularly for its small agricultural sector. The fate of the Swiss economy is tightly linked to that of its neighbors in the euro zone, which purchases half of Swiss exports. The global financial crisis of 2008 and resulting economic downturn in 2009 stalled demand for Swiss exports and put Switzerland into a recession. During this period, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) implemented a zero-interest rate policy to boost the economy, as well as to prevent appreciation of the franc, and Switzerland's economy began to recover in 2010.

The sovereign debt crises unfolding in neighboring euro-zone countries, however, coupled with economic instability in Russia and other Eastern European economies drove up demand for the Swiss franc by investors seeking a safehaven currency. In January 2015, the SNB abandoned the Swiss franc’s peg to the euro, roiling global currency markets and making active SNB intervention a necessary hallmark of present-day Swiss monetary policy. The independent SNB has upheld its zero interest rate policy and conducted major market interventions to prevent further appreciation of the Swiss franc, but parliamentarians have urged it to do more to weaken the currency. The franc's strength has made Swiss exports less competitive and weakened the country's growth outlook; GDP growth fell below 2% per year from 2011 through 2017.

In recent years, Switzerland has responded to increasing pressure from neighboring countries and trading partners to reform its banking secrecy laws, by agreeing to conform to OECD regulations on administrative assistance in tax matters, including tax evasion. The Swiss Government has also renegotiated its double taxation agreements with numerous countries, including the US, to incorporate OECD standards.

GDP (purchasing power parity)$4,482,448,000,000 (2019 est.)

$4,457,688,000,000 (2018 est.)

$4,401,873,000,000 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars
$588.472 billion (2019 est.)

$583.056 billion (2018 est.)

$567.448 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars
GDP - real growth rate0.59% (2019 est.)

1.3% (2018 est.)

2.91% (2017 est.)
1.11% (2019 est.)

3.04% (2018 est.)

1.65% (2017 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$53,919 (2019 est.)

$53,768 (2018 est.)

$53,255 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
$68,628 (2019 est.)

$68,479 (2018 est.)

$67,139 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 0.7% (2017 est.)

industry: 30.7% (2017 est.)

services: 68.6% (2017 est.)
agriculture: 0.7% (2017 est.)

industry: 25.6% (2017 est.)

services: 73.7% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line14.8% (2018 est.)16% (2018 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 3.6%

highest 10%: 24% (2000)
lowest 10%: 7.5%

highest 10%: 19% (2007)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)1.4% (2019 est.)

1.7% (2018 est.)

1.5% (2017 est.)
0.3% (2019 est.)

0.9% (2018 est.)

0.5% (2017 est.)
Labor force44.585 million (2020 est.)5.067 million (2020 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 1.4%

industry: 24.2%

services: 74.3% (2016)
agriculture: 3.3%

industry: 19.8%

services: 76.9% (2015)
Unemployment rate4.98% (2019 est.)

5.19% (2018 est.)
2.31% (2019 est.)

2.55% (2018 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index31.9 (2016 est.)

30 (1994)
32.7 (2017 est.)

33.1 (1992)
Budgetrevenues: 1.665 trillion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 1.619 trillion (2017 est.)
revenues: 242.1 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 234.4 billion (2017 est.)

note: includes federal, cantonal, and municipal budgets
Industriesamong the world's largest and most technologically advanced producers of iron, steel, coal, cement, chemicals, machinery, vehicles, machine tools, electronics, automobiles, food and beverages, shipbuilding, textilesmachinery, chemicals, watches, textiles, precision instruments, tourism, banking, insurance, pharmaceuticals
Industrial production growth rate3.3% (2017 est.)3.4% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - productsmilk, sugar beet, wheat, barley, potatoes, pork, maize, rye, rapeseed, triticalemilk, sugar beet, wheat, potatoes, pork, barley, apples, maize, beef, grapes
Exports$2,004,158,000,000 (2019 est.)

$1,984,745,000,000 (2018 est.)

$1,937,273,000,000 (2017 est.)
$443.997 billion (2019 est.)

$444.605 billion (2018 est.)

$430.129 billion (2017 est.)

note: trade data exclude trade with Switzerland
Exports - commoditiescars and vehicle parts, packaged medicines, aircraft, medical cultures/vaccines, industrial machinery (2019)gold, packaged medicines, medical cultures/vaccines, watches, jewelry (2019)
Exports - partnersUnited States 9%, France 8%, China 7%, Netherlands 6%, United Kingdom 6%, Italy 5%, Poland 5%, Austria 5% (2019)Germany 16%, United States 14%, United Kingdom 8%, China 7%, France 6%, India 6%, Italy 5% (2019)
Imports$1,804,453,000,000 (2019 est.)

$1,759,299,000,000 (2018 est.)

$1,695,300,000,000 (2017 est.)
$344.477 billion (2019 est.)

$344.557 billion (2018 est.)

$343.367 billion (2017 est.)
Imports - commoditiescars and vehicle parts, packaged medicines, crude petroleum, refined petroleum, medical cultures/vaccines (2019)gold, packaged medicines, jewelry, cars, medical cultures/vaccines (2019)
Imports - partnersNetherlands 9%, China 8%, France 7%, Belgium 6%, Poland 6%, Italy 6%, Czechia 5%, United States 5% (2019)Germany 21%, Italy 8%, United States 6%, France 6%, United Kingdom 5%, United Arab Emirates 5% (2019)
Debt - external$5,671,463,000,000 (2019 est.)

$5,751,408,000,000 (2018 est.)
$1,909,446,000,000 (2019 est.)

$1,930,819,000,000 (2018 est.)
Exchange rateseuros (EUR) per US dollar -

0.82771 (2020 est.)

0.90338 (2019 est.)

0.87789 (2018 est.)

0.885 (2014 est.)

0.7634 (2013 est.)
Swiss francs (CHF) per US dollar -

0.88995 (2020 est.)

0.98835 (2019 est.)

0.99195 (2018 est.)

0.9627 (2014 est.)

0.9152 (2013 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar yearcalendar year
Public debt63.9% of GDP (2017 est.)

67.9% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: general government gross debt is defined in the Maastricht Treaty as consolidated general government gross debt at nominal value, outstanding at the end of the year in the following categories of government liabilities (as defined in ESA95): currency and deposits (AF.2), securities other than shares excluding financial derivatives (AF.3, excluding AF.34), and loans (AF.4); the general government sector comprises the sub-sectors of central government, state government, local government and social security funds; the series are presented as a percentage of GDP and in millions of euros; GDP used as a denominator is the gross domestic product at current market prices; data expressed in national currency are converted into euro using end-of-year exchange rates provided by the European Central Bank
41.8% of GDP (2017 est.)

41.8% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: general government gross debt; gross debt consists of all liabilities that require payment or payments of interest and/or principal by the debtor to the creditor at a date or dates in the future; includes debt liabilities in the form of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), currency and deposits, debt securities, loans, insurance, pensions and standardized guarantee schemes, and other accounts payable; all liabilities in the GFSM (Government Financial Systems Manual) 2001 system are debt, except for equity and investment fund shares and financial derivatives and employee stock options
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$200.1 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$173.7 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$811.2 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$679.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Current Account Balance$280.238 billion (2019 est.)

$297.434 billion (2018 est.)
$79.937 billion (2019 est.)

$63.273 billion (2018 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$3,860,923,000,000 (2019 est.)$731.502 billion (2019 est.)
Taxes and other revenues45% (of GDP) (2017 est.)35.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)1.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)1.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 5.8%

male: 6.6%

female: 4.8% (2019 est.)
total: 8%

male: 8.8%

female: 7.2% (2019 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 53.1% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 19.5% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 20.4% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: -0.5% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 47.3% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -39.7% (2017 est.)
household consumption: 53.7% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 12% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 24.5% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: -1.4% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 65.1% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -54% (2017 est.)
Gross national saving28.5% of GDP (2019 est.)

28.7% of GDP (2018 est.)

28.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
35.3% of GDP (2019 est.)

33.8% of GDP (2018 est.)

30.6% of GDP (2017 est.)

Energy

GermanySwitzerland
Electricity - production612.8 billion kWh (2016 est.)59.01 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption536.5 billion kWh (2016 est.)58.46 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports78.86 billion kWh (2016 est.)30.17 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports28.34 billion kWh (2016 est.)34.1 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Oil - production41,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
Oil - imports1.836 million bbl/day (2017 est.)57,400 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Oil - exports6,569 bbl/day (2017 est.)0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Oil - proved reserves129.6 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves39.5 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)NA cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
Natural gas - production7.9 billion cu m (2017 est.)0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption93.36 billion cu m (2017 est.)3.709 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports34.61 billion cu m (2017 est.)0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports119.5 billion cu m (2017 est.)3.681 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity208.5 million kW (2016 est.)20.84 million kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels41% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)3% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants2% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)67% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels5% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)18% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources52% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)13% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production2.158 million bbl/day (2017 est.)61,550 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption2.46 million bbl/day (2017 est.)223,900 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports494,000 bbl/day (2017 est.)7,345 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports883,800 bbl/day (2017 est.)165,100 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Electricity accesselectrification - total population: 100% (2020)electrification - total population: 100% (2020)

Telecommunications

GermanySwitzerland
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 40.4 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 50.35 (2019 est.)
total subscriptions: 3,102,504

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 37.19 (2019 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal subscriptions: 107.2 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 133.61 (2019 est.)
total subscriptions: 10,829,031

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 129.79 (2019 est.)
Internet country code.de.ch
Internet userstotal: 72,202,773

percent of population: 89.74% (July 2018 est.)
total: 7,437,820

percent of population: 89.69% (July 2018 est.)
Telecommunication systemsgeneral assessment:

one of the world's most technologically advanced telecom systems with additional security measures; LTE universally available and 5G service to over 80% of population; mobile market is driven by data, with increased broadband subscribership; regulatory measures aimed at facilitating wholesale network access to provide fiber-based broadband services; government aims to provide smart technology solutions; over 60 cities use smart technology in urban development, many through joint initiative with private sector, utility companies, and universities; importer of broadcast equipment and computers from China (2021)

(2020)

domestic: extensive system of automatic telephone exchanges connected by modern networks of fiber-optic cable, coaxial cable, microwave radio relay, and a domestic satellite system; cellular telephone service is widely available, expanding rapidly, and includes roaming service to many foreign countries; 48 per 100 for fixed-line and 128 per 100 for mobile-cellular (2019)

international: country code - 49; landing points for SeaMeWe-3, TAT-14, AC-1, CONTACT-3, Fehmarn Balt, C-Lion1, GC1, GlobalConnect-KPN, and Germany-Denmark 2 & 3 - submarine cables to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Southeast Asia and Australia; as well as earth stations in the Inmarsat, Intelsat, Eutelsat, and Intersputnik satellite systems (2019)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced downturn, particularly in mobile device production; many network operators delayed upgrades to infrastructure; progress towards 5G implementation was postponed or slowed in some countries; consumer spending on telecom services and devices was affected by large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home became evident, and received some support from governments

general assessment: Switzerland emerged as a European leader for 1Gb/s fiber broadband, complemented by 5G to 97% of the population; competitive market buttressed by regulator assurances of 5G-compatible network infrastructure; although not a member of the EU, Switzerland follows the EU's telecom framework and regulations; Zurich is being developed as a smart city (2021) (2020)

domestic: ranked among leading countries for fixed-line teledensity and infrastructure; fixed-line 36 per 100 and mobile-cellular subscribership 127 per 100 persons; extensive cable and microwave radio relay networks (2019)

international: country code - 41; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced downturn, particularly in mobile device production; many network operators delayed upgrades to infrastructure; progress towards 5G implementation was postponed or slowed in some countries; consumer spending on telecom services and devices was affected by large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home became evident, and received some support from governments
Broadband - fixed subscriptionstotal: 35,071,539

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 43.71 (2019 est.)
total: 4,029,445

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 48.3 (2019 est.)
Broadcast mediaa mixture of publicly operated and privately owned TV and radio stations; 70 national and regional public broadcasters compete with nearly 400 privately owned national and regional TV stations; more than 90% of households have cable or satellite TV; hundreds of radio stations including multiple national radio networks, regional radio networks, and a large number of local radio stations

the publicly owned radio and TV broadcaster, Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SRG/SSR), operates 8 national TV networks, 3 broadcasting in German, 3 in French, and 2 in Italian; private commercial TV stations broadcast regionally and locally; TV broadcasts from stations in Germany, Italy, and France are widely available via multi-channel cable and satellite TV services; SRG/SSR operates 17 radio stations that, along with private broadcasters, provide national to local coverage )

(2019)

Transportation

GermanySwitzerland
Railwaystotal: 33,590 km (2017)

standard gauge: 33,331 km 1.435-m gauge (19,973 km electrified) (2015)

narrow gauge: 220 km 1.000-m gauge (79 km electrified)

15 km 0.900-m gauge, 24 km 0.750-m gauge (2015)
total: 5,690 km (includes 19 km in neighboring countries) (2015)

standard gauge: 3,836 km 1.435-m gauge (3,634 km electrified) (2015)

narrow gauge: 1,630 km 1.200-m gauge (2 km electrified) (includes 19 km in neighboring countries) (2015)

1188 km 1.000-m gauge (1,167.3 km electrified)
36 km 0.800-m gauge (36.4 km electrified)
Roadwaystotal: 625,000 km (2017)

paved: 625,000 km (includes 12,996 km of expressways) (2017)

note: includes local roads
total: 71,557 km (2017)

paved: 71,557 km (includes 1,458 of expressways) (2017)
Waterways7,467 km (Rhine River carries most goods; Main-Danube Canal links North Sea and Black Sea) (2012)1,292 km (there are 1,227 km of waterways on lakes and rivers for public transport and 65 km on the Rhine River between Basel-Rheinfelden and Schaffhausen-Bodensee for commercial goods transport) (2010)
Pipelines37 km condensate, 26985 km gas, 2400 km oil, 4479 km refined products, 8 km water (2013)1,800 km gas, 94 km oil (of which 60 are inactive), 17 km refined products (2017)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Baltic Sea - Kiel, Rostock
North Sea - Bremerhaven, Brunsbuttel, Emden, Hamburg, Wilhelmshaven

oil terminal(s): Brunsbuttel Canal terminals

container port(s) (TEUs): Bremen/Bremerhaven (4,856,900), Hamburg (9,274,215) (2019)

LNG terminal(s) (import): Hamburg

river port(s): Bremen (Weser); Bremerhaven (Geeste); Duisburg, Karlsruhe, Neuss-Dusseldorf (Rhine); Lubeck (Wakenitz); Brunsbuttel, Hamburg (Elbe)
river port(s): Basel (Rhine)
Merchant marinetotal: 607

by type: bulk carrier 1, container ship 84, general cargo 86, oil tanker 37, other 399 (2020)
total: 28

by type: bulk carrier 21, general cargo 3, oil tanker 1, other 3 (includes Liechtenstein) (2020)
Airportstotal: 539 (2013)total: 63 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 318 (2017)

over 3,047 m: 14 (2017)

2,438 to 3,047 m: 49 (2017)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 60 (2017)

914 to 1,523 m: 70 (2017)

under 914 m: 125 (2017)
total: 40 (2013)

over 3,047 m: 3 (2013)

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 (2013)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 12 (2013)

914 to 1,523 m: 6 (2013)

under 914 m: 17 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 221 (2013)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)

914 to 1,523 m: 35 (2013)

under 914 m: 185 (2013)
total: 23 (2013)

under 914 m: 23 (2013)
Heliports23 (2013)2 (2013)
National air transport systemnumber of registered air carriers: 20 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 1,113

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 109,796,202 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 7,969,860,000 mt-km (2018)
number of registered air carriers: 6 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 179

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 28,857,994 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 1,841,310,000 mt-km (2018)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefixDHB

Military

GermanySwitzerland
Military branchesFederal Armed Forces (Bundeswehr): Army (Heer), Navy (Deutsche Marine, includes naval air arm), Air Force (Luftwaffe, includes air defense), Joint Support Service (Streitkraeftebasis, SKB), Central Medical Service (Zentraler Sanitaetsdienst, ZSanDstBw), Cyber and Information Space Command (Kommando Cyber- und Informationsraum, Kdo CIR) (2021)Swiss Armed Forces: Land Forces, Swiss Air Force (Schweizer Luftwaffe) (2021)
Military service age and obligation17-23 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; conscription ended July 2011; service obligation 8-23 months or 12 years; women have been eligible for voluntary service in all military branches and positions since 2001 (2019)18-30 years of age generally for male compulsory military service; 18 years of age for voluntary male and female military service; every Swiss male has to serve at least 245 days in the armed forces; conscripts receive 18 weeks of mandatory training, followed by six 19-day intermittent recalls for training during the next 10 years (2021)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP1.56% of GDP (2020 est.)

1.36% of GDP (2019)

1.25% of GDP (2018)

1.23% of GDP (2017)

1.2% of GDP (2016)
0.7% of GDP (2019)

0.7% of GDP (2018)

0.7% of GDP (2017)

0.7% of GDP (2016)

0.7% of GDP (2015)

Transnational Issues

GermanySwitzerland
Disputes - international

none

none

Illicit drugssource of precursor chemicals for South American cocaine processors; transshipment point for and consumer of Southwest Asian heroin, Latin American cocaine, and European-produced synthetic drugs; major financial centera major international financial center vulnerable to the layering and integration stages of money laundering; despite significant legislation and reporting requirements, secrecy rules persist and nonresidents are permitted to conduct business through offshore entities and various intermediaries; transit country for and consumer of South American cocaine, Southwest Asian heroin, and Western European synthetics; domestic cannabis cultivation and limited ecstasy production
Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 572,818 (Syria), 141,650 (Iraq), 140,366 (Afghanistan), 58,569 (Eritrea), 43,244 (Iran), 28,470 (Turkey), 26,015 (Somalia), 8,722 (Russia), 8,639 (Serbia and Kosovo), 8,125 (Pakistan), 7,828 (Nigeria) (2019)

stateless persons: 26,675 (2020)
refugees (country of origin): 36,698 (Eritrea), 18,755 (Syria), 13,455 (Afghanistan), 5,819 (Sri Lanka) (2019)

stateless persons: 711 (2020)

Source: CIA Factbook