Home

Switzerland vs. Austria

Introduction

SwitzerlandAustria
BackgroundThe 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.
"Once the center of power for the large Austro-Hungarian Empire, Austria was reduced to a small republic after its defeat in World War I. Following annexation by Nazi Germany in 1938 and subsequent occupation by the victorious Allies in 1945, Austria's status remained unclear for a decade. A State Treaty signed in 1955 ended the occupation, recognized Austria's independence, and forbade unification with Germany. A constitutional law that same year declared the country's ""perpetual neutrality"" as a condition for Soviet military withdrawal. The Soviet Union's collapse in 1991 and Austria's entry into the EU in 1995 have altered the meaning of this neutrality. A prosperous, democratic country, Austria entered the EU Economic and Monetary Union in 1999.
"

Geography

SwitzerlandAustria
LocationCentral Europe, east of France, north of Italy
Central Europe, north of Italy and Slovenia
Geographic coordinates47 00 N, 8 00 E
47 20 N, 13 20 E
Map referencesEurope
Europe
Areatotal: 41,277 sq km
land: 39,997 sq km
water: 1,280 sq km
total: 83,871 sq km
land: 82,445 sq km
water: 1,426 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly less than twice the size of New Jersey
about the size of South Carolina; slightly more than two-thirds the size of Pennsylvania
Land boundariestotal: 1,770 km
border countries (5): Austria 158 km, France 525 km, Italy 698 km, Liechtenstein 41 km, Germany 348 km
total: 2,524 km
border countries (8): Czech Republic 402 km, Germany 801 km, Hungary 321 km, Italy 404 km, Liechtenstein 34 km, Slovakia 105 km, Slovenia 299 km, Switzerland 158 km
Coastline0 km (landlocked)
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claimsnone (landlocked)
none (landlocked)
Climatetemperate, but varies with altitude; cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters; cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers
temperate; continental, cloudy; cold winters with frequent rain and some snow in lowlands and snow in mountains; moderate summers with occasional showers
Terrainmostly mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) with a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes
mostly mountains (Alps) in the west and south; mostly flat or gently sloping along the eastern and northern margins
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 1,350 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Lake Maggiore 195 m
highest point: Dufourspitze 4,634 m
mean elevation: 910 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Neusiedler See 115 m
highest point: Grossglockner 3,798 m
Natural resourceshydropower potential, timber, salt
oil, coal, lignite, timber, iron ore, copper, zinc, antimony, magnesite, tungsten, graphite, salt, hydropower
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.)
agricultural land: 38.4%
arable land 16.5%; permanent crops 0.8%; permanent pasture 21.1%
forest: 47.2%
other: 14.4% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land630 sq km (2012)
1,170 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsavalanches, landslides; flash floods
landslides; avalanches; earthquakes
Environment - current issuesair pollution from vehicle emissions and open-air burning; acid rain; water pollution from increased use of agricultural fertilizers; loss of biodiversity
some forest degradation caused by air and soil pollution; soil pollution results from the use of agricultural chemicals; air pollution results from emissions by coal- and oil-fired power stations and industrial plants and from trucks transiting Austria between northern and southern Europe
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
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - notelandlocked; crossroads of northern and southern Europe; along with southeastern France, northern Italy, and southwestern Austria, has the highest elevations in the Alps
landlocked; strategic location at the crossroads of central Europe with many easily traversable Alpine passes and valleys; major river is the Danube; population is concentrated on eastern lowlands because of steep slopes, poor soils, and low temperatures elsewhere
Population distributionpopulation distribution corresponds to elevation with the northern and western areas far more heavily populated; the higher Alps of the south limit settlement
the northern and eastern portions of the country are more densely populated; nearly two-thirds of the populace lives in urban areas

Demographics

SwitzerlandAustria
Population8,236,303 (July 2017 est.)
8,754,413 (July 2017 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 15.16% (male 642,814/female 605,689)
15-24 years: 10.88% (male 458,044/female 438,373)
25-54 years: 43.21% (male 1,784,051/female 1,774,494)
55-64 years: 12.6% (male 519,709/female 518,421)
65 years and over: 18.15% (male 658,673/female 836,035) (2017 est.)
0-14 years: 14.01% (male 628,205/female 598,519)
15-24 years: 11.07% (male 494,016/female 475,500)
25-54 years: 42.42% (male 1,856,532/female 1,856,937)
55-64 years: 13.23% (male 574,570/female 584,022)
65 years and over: 19.26% (male 731,126/female 954,986) (2017 est.)
Median agetotal: 42.4 years
male: 41.4 years
female: 43.4 years (2017 est.)
total: 44 years
male: 42.8 years
female: 45.1 years (2017 est.)
Population growth rate0.69% (2017 est.)
0.47% (2017 est.)
Birth rate10.5 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
9.5 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Death rate8.3 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
9.6 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Net migration rate4.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
4.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.06 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: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 3.6 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
total: 3.4 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 82.6 years
male: 80.3 years
female: 85.1 years (2017 est.)
total population: 81.6 years
male: 78.9 years
female: 84.4 years (2017 est.)
Total fertility rate1.56 children born/woman (2017 est.)
1.47 children born/woman (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rateNA
NA
Nationalitynoun: Swiss (singular and plural)
adjective: Swiss
noun: Austrian(s)
adjective: Austrian
Ethnic groupsGerman 65%, French 18%, Italian 10%, Romansch 1%, other 6%
Austrians 91.1%, former Yugoslavs 4% (includes Croatians, Slovenes, Serbs, and Bosniaks), Turks 1.6%, Germans 0.9%, other or unspecified 2.4% (2001 census)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDSNA
NA
ReligionsRoman Catholic 37.3%, Protestant 24.9%, other Christian 5.8%, Muslim 5.1%, other 1.4%, Jewish 0.2%, none 23.9%, unspecified 1.3% (2015 est.)
Catholic 73.8% (includes Roman Catholic 73.6%, other Catholic 0.2%), Protestant 4.9%, Muslim 4.2%, Orthodox 2.2%, other 0.8% (includes other Christian), none 12%, unspecified 2% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deathsNA
NA
LanguagesGerman (or Swiss German) (official) 63%, French (official) 22.7%, Italian (official) 8.1%, English 4.9%, Portuguese 3.7%, Albanian 3%, Serbo-Croatian 2.4%, Spanish 2.2%, Romansch (official) 0.5%, other 7.1%
note: German, French, Italian, and Romansch are all national and official languages; totals more than 100% because some respondents indicated more than one main language (2015 est.)
German (official nationwide) 88.6%, Turkish 2.3%, Serbian 2.2%, Croatian (official in Burgenland) 1.6%, other (includes Slovene, official in South Carinthia, and Hungarian, official in Burgenland) 5.3% (2001 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 16 years
male: 16 years
female: 16 years (2014)
total: 16 years
male: 16 years
female: 16 years (2015)
Education expenditures5.1% of GDP (2013)
5.6% of GDP (2013)
Urbanizationurban population: 74.1% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 1.1% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
urban population: 66.1% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 0.51% annual rate of change (2015-20 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 (2015 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 (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 99.9% of population
rural: 99.8% of population
total: 99.9% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0.1% of population
rural: 0.2% of population
total: 0.1% of population (2015 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 (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationZurich 1.246 million; BERN (capital) 358,000 (2015)
VIENNA (capital) 1.753 million (2015)
Maternal mortality rate5 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
4 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Health expenditures11.7% of GDP (2014)
11.2% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density4.11 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
5.15 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
Hospital bed density5 beds/1,000 population (2011)
7.6 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate19.5% (2016)
20.1% (2016)
Mother's mean age at first birth30.7 years (2014 est.)
29 years (2014 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate72.9% (2012)
65.7%
note: percent of women aged 18-49 (2012/13)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 48.8
youth dependency ratio: 22
elderly dependency ratio: 26.8
potential support ratio: 3.7 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 49.2
youth dependency ratio: 21.1
elderly dependency ratio: 28.1
potential support ratio: 3.6 (2015 est.)

Government

SwitzerlandAustria
Country nameconventional 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)
etymology: name derives from the canton of Schwyz, one of the founding cantons of the Old Swiss Confederacy that formed in the 14th century
"conventional long form: Republic of Austria
conventional short form: Austria
local long form: Republik Oesterreich
local short form: Oesterreich
etymology: the name Oesterreich means ""eastern realm"" or ""eastern march"" and dates to the 10th century; the designation refers to the fact that Austria was the easternmost extension of Bavaria, and, in fact, of all the Germans; the word Austria is a Latinization of the German name
"
Government typefederal republic (formally a confederation)
federal parliamentary republic
Capitalname: 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
name: Vienna
geographic coordinates: 48 12 N, 16 22 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
Administrative divisions26 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, 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 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
9 states (Bundeslaender, singular - Bundesland); Burgenland, Kaernten (Carinthia), Niederoesterreich (Lower Austria), Oberoesterreich (Upper Austria), Salzburg, Steiermark (Styria), Tirol (Tyrol), Vorarlberg, Wien (Vienna)
Independence1 August 1291 (founding of the Swiss Confederation)
12 November 1918 (republic proclaimed); notable earlier dates: 976 (Margravate of Austria established); 17 September 1156 (Duchy of Austria founded); 11 August 1804 (Austrian Empire proclaimed)
National holidayFounding of the Swiss Confederation in 1291; note - since 1 August 1891 celebrated as Swiss National Day
National Day (commemorates passage of the law on permanent neutrality), 26 October (1955)
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 million 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 2016 (2016)
"
history: several previous; latest adopted 1 October 1920, revised 1929, replaced May 1934 (authoritarian corporate state), replaced by German Weimar constitution in 1938 following German annexation, reinstated 1 May 1945
amendments: proposed through laws designated “constitutional laws” or through the constitutional process if the amendment is part of another law; approval required by at least a two-thirds majority vote by the National Assembly if one-half of the members are present; a referendum is required only if requested by one-third of the National Council or Federal Council membership; passage by referendum requires absolute majority vote; amended many times, last in 2014 (2016)
Legal systemcivil law system; judicial review of legislative acts, except for federal decrees of a general obligatory character
civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts by the Constitutional Court
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
16 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President of the Swiss Confederation Alain BERSET (since 1 January 2018); Vice President Ueli MAURER (since 1 January 2018); note - the Federal Council, which is comprised of 7 federal councillors, constitutes the federal government of Switzerland; council members rotate in a 1-year term as federal president (chief of state and head of government)
head of government: President of the Swiss Confederation Alain BERSET (since 1 January 2018); Vice President Ueli MAURER (since 1 January 2018)
cabinet: Federal Council or Bundesrat (in German), Conseil Federal (in French), Consiglio Federale (in Italian) indirectly elected usually from among its members 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 December 2017 (next to be held in December 2018)
election results: Alain BERSET elected president; Federal Assembly vote - 190 of 210; Ueli MAURER elected vice president; Federal Assembly vote - 178 of 192
chief of state: Alexander VAN DER BELLEN (since 26 January 2017)
head of government: Chancellor Sebastian KURZ (since 18 December 2017); Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian STRACHE (since 18 December 2017)
cabinet: Council of Ministers chosen by the president on the advice of the chancellor
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 6-year term (eligible for a second term); elections last held on 24 April 2016 (first round), 22 May 2016 (second round, which was annulled), and 4 December 2016 (second round re-vote); next election to be held in April 2022; chancellor appointed by the president but determined by the majority coalition parties in the Federal Assembly; vice chancellor appointed by the president on the advice of the chancellor
election results: Alexander VAN DER BELLEN elected in second round; percent of vote in first round - Norbet HOFER (FPOe) 35.1%, Alexander VAN DER BELLEN (independent, allied with the Greens) 21.3%, Irmgard GRISS (independent) 18.9%, Rudolf HUNDSTORFER (SPOe) 11.3%, Andreas KHOL (OeVP) 11.1%, Richard LUGNER (independent) 2.3%; percent of vote in second round - Alexander VAN DER BELLEN 53.8%, Norbet HOFER 46.2%
Legislative branchdescription: bicameral Federal Assembly or Bundesversammlung (in German), Assemblee Federale (in French), Assemblea Federale (in Italian) consists of the Council of States or Staenderat (in German), Conseil des Etats (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; members serve 4-year terms) and the 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)
elections: Council of States - last held in most cantons on 18 October 2015 (each canton determines when the next election will be held); National Council - last held on 18 October 2015 (next to be held in October 2019)
election results: Council of States - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party as of 18 October 2015 - CVP 13, FDP 13, SDP 12, SVP 5, other 3; National Council - percent of vote by party - SVP 29.4%, SPS 18.8%, FDP 16.4%, CVP 11.6%, Green Party 7.1%, GLP 4.6%, BDP 4.1%, other 8.0%; seats by party - SVP 68, SPS 43, FDP 33, CVP 30, Green Party 12, GLP 7, BDP 7
description: bicameral Federal Assembly or Bundesversammlung consists of the Federal Council or Bundesrat (62 seats; members appointed by state parliaments with each state receiving 3 to 12 seats in proportion to its population; members serve 5- or 6-year terms) and the National Council or Nationalrat (183 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: National Council - last held on 15 October 2017 (next to be held in 2022); note - an early election was called after the coalition government collapsed
election results: National Council - percent of vote by party - OeVP 31.5%, SPOe 26.9%, FPOe 26%, NEOS 5.3%, PILZ 4.4%, other 5.9%; seats by party - OeVP 62, SPOe 62, FPOe 51, NEOS 10, PILZ 8
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Federal Supreme Court (consists of 38 judges and 31 substitutes and organized into 5 sections)
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 (began in 2004); Federal Administrative Court (began in 2007); note - each of Switzerland's 26 cantons has its own courts
highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice or Oberster Gerichtshof (consists of 85 judges organized into 17 senates or panels of 5 judges each); Constitutional Court or Verfassungsgerichtshof (consists of 20 judges including 6 substitutes; Administrative Court or Verwaltungsgerichtshof - 2 judges plus other members depending on the importance of the case)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges nominated by executive branch departments and appointed by the president; judges serve for life; Constitutional Court judges nominated by several executive branch departments and approved by the president; judges serve for life; Administrative Court judges recommended by executive branch departments and appointed by the president; terms of judges and members determined by the president
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal (4); Regional Courts (20); district courts (120); county courts
Political parties and leadersChristian Democratic People's Party (Christlichdemokratische Volkspartei der Schweiz or CVP, Parti Democrate-Chretien Suisse or PDC, Partito Popolare Democratico Svizzero or PPD, Partida Cristiandemocratica dalla Svizra or PCD) [Gerhard PFISTER]
Conservative Democratic Party (Buergerlich-Demokratische Partei Schweiz or BDP, Parti Bourgeois Democratique Suisse or PBD, Partito Borghese Democratico Svizzero or PBD, Partido burgais democratica Svizera or PBD) [Martin LANDOLT]
Free Democratic Party or FDP.The Liberals (FDP.Die Liberalen, PLR.Les Liberaux-Radicaux, PLR.I Liberali, Ils Liberals) [Petra GOESSI]
Green Liberal Party (Grunliberale or GLP, Parti vert liberale or PVL, Partito Verde-Liberale or PVL, Partida Verde Liberale or PVL) [Jurge 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 SPS, 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
Austrian People's Party or OeVP [Sebastian KURZ]
Communist Party of Austria or KPOe [Mirko MESSNER]
Freedom Party of Austria or FPOe [Heinz-Christian STRACHE]
The Greens [Werner KOGLER]
NEOS - The New Austria [Matthias STROLZ]
Pilz List or PILZ [Peter KOLBA]
Social Democratic Party of Austria or SPOe [Christian KERN]
Political pressure groups and leadersNA
Austrian Trade Union Federation or OeGB (nominally independent but primarily Social Democratic)
Federal Agriculture Chamber (OeVP-dominated)
Federal Economic Chamber (OeVP-dominated)
Labor Chamber or AK (Social Democratic-leaning think tank)
OeVP-oriented Association of Austrian Industrialists or IV
Roman Catholic Church, including its chief lay organization, Catholic Action
other: 3 composite leagues of the Austrian People's Party or OeVP representing business, labor, farmers, and other nongovernment organizations in the areas of environment and human rights
International organization participationADB (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
ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CD, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-9, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINURSO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Martin Werner DAHINDEN (since 18 November 2014)
chancery: 2900 Cathedral Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 745-7900
FAX: [1] (202) 387-2564
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco
chief of mission: Ambassador Wolfgang WALDNER (since 28 January 2016)
chancery: 3524 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008-3035
telephone: [1] (202) 895-6700
FAX: [1] (202) 895-6750
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York
consulate(s): Chicago
Diplomatic representation from the US"chief of mission: Ambassador Edward ""Ed"" MCMULLEN (since 21 November 2017) note - also accredited to Liechtenstein
embassy: Sulgeneckstrasse 19, CH-3007 Bern
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [41] (031) 357-70-11
FAX: [41] (031) 357-73-20
"
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Eugene YOUNG (since 20 January 2017)
embassy: Boltzmanngasse 16, A-1090, Vienna
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [43] (1) 31339-0
FAX: [43] (1) 3100682
Flag descriptionred 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)
three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and red; the flag design is certainly one of the oldest - if not the oldest - national banners in the world; according to tradition, in 1191, following a fierce battle in the Third Crusade, Duke Leopold V of Austria's white tunic became completely blood-spattered; upon removal of his wide belt or sash, a white band was revealed; the red-white-red color combination was subsequently adopted as his banner
National anthem"the Swiss anthem has four names: ""Schweizerpsalm"" [German] ""Cantique Suisse"" [French] ""Salmo svizzero,"" [Italian] ""Psalm svizzer"" [Romansch] (Swiss Psalm)
lyrics/music: Leonhard WIDMER [German], Charles CHATELANAT [French], Camillo VALSANGIACOMO [Italian], and Flurin CAMATHIAS [Romansch]/Alberik ZWYSSIG
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
"
"name: ""Bundeshymne"" (Federal Hymn)
lyrics/music: Paula von PRERADOVIC/Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART or Johann HOLZER (disputed)
note: adopted 1947; the anthem is also known as ""Land der Berge, Land am Strome"" (Land of the Mountains, Land by the River); Austria adopted a new national anthem after World War II to replace the former imperial anthem composed by Franz Josef HAYDN, which had been appropriated by Germany in 1922 and was thereafter associated with the Nazi regime; a gendered version of the lyrics was adopted by the Austrian Federal Assembly in fall 2011 and became effective 1 January 2012
"
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)Swiss cross (white cross on red field, arms equal length); national colors: red, white
eagle, edelweiss, Alpine gentian; national colors: red, white
Citizenshipcitizenship 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
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Austria
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years

Economy

SwitzerlandAustria
Economy - overviewSwitzerland, 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 enhance their international competitiveness, but some trade protectionism remains, 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 ongoing economic instability in Russia and other eastern European economies continue to pose a significant risk to the Swiss economy, driving up demand for the Swiss franc by investors seeking a safe-haven 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 2011-17.

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, and is openly considering the possibility of imposing taxes on bank deposits held by foreigners.
Austria, with its well-developed market economy, skilled labor force, and high standard of living, is closely tied to other EU economies, especially Germany's. Its economy features a large service sector, a relatively sound industrial sector, and a small, but highly developed agricultural sector.

Economic growth has been relatively weak in recent years, approaching 1% in 2015, but rising to 2.3% in 2017. Austria's 5.8% unemployment rate, while low by European standards, is at its highest rate since the end of World War II, driven by an increased number of refugees and EU migrants entering the labor market. Without extensive vocational training programs and generous early retirement, the unemployment rate would be even higher.

Although Austria's fiscal position compares favorably with other euro-zone countries, it faces several external risks, such as unexpectedly weak world economic growth threatening the export market, Austrian banks' continued exposure to Central and Eastern Europe, repercussions from the Hypo Alpe Adria bank collapse, political and economic uncertainties caused by the European sovereign debt crisis, the current refugee crisis, and continued unrest in Russia/Ukraine. The budget deficit stood at 1% of GDP in 2016 and public debt reached a post-war high of 84.6% of the GDP in 2016.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$516.7 billion (2017 est.)
$511.5 billion (2016 est.)
$504.5 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
$434.1 billion (2017 est.)
$424.4 billion (2016 est.)
$418.2 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - real growth rate1% (2017 est.)
1.4% (2016 est.)
1.2% (2015 est.)
2.3% (2017 est.)
1.5% (2016 est.)
1% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$61,400 (2017 est.)
$61,400 (2016 est.)
$61,200 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
$49,200 (2017 est.)
$48,600 (2016 est.)
$48,500 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 0.7%
industry: 25.6%
services: 73.7% (2017 est.)
agriculture: 1.2%
industry: 28.2%
services: 70.5% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line6.6% (2014 est.)
4% (2014 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 7.5%
highest 10%: 19% (2007)
lowest 10%: 2.8%
highest 10%: 23.5% (2012 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)0.5% (2017 est.)
-0.4% (2016 est.)
1.6% (2017 est.)
1% (2016 est.)
Labor force5.159 million (2017 est.)
3.997 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 3.3%
industry: 19.8%
services: 76.9% (2015)
agriculture: 0.7%
industry: 25.3%
services: 74% (2015 est.)
Unemployment rate3% (2017 est.)
3.3% (2016 est.)
5.4% (2017 est.)
6% (2016 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index29.5 (2014 est.)
33.1 (1992)
29.2 (2013)
26.3 (2007)
Budgetrevenues: $223.5 billion
expenditures: $222.1 billion
note: includes federal, cantonal, and municipal budgets (2017 est.)
revenues: $197.8 billion
expenditures: $201.9 billion (2017 est.)
Industriesmachinery, chemicals, watches, textiles, precision instruments, tourism, banking, insurance, pharmaceuticals
construction, machinery, vehicles and parts, food, metals, chemicals, lumber, paper and paperboard, communications equipment, tourism
Industrial production growth rate2% (2017 est.)
3.8% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - productsgrains, fruits, vegetables; meat, eggs, dairy products
grains, potatoes, wine, fruit; dairy products, cattle, pigs, poultry; lumber and other forestry products
Exports$336.8 billion (2017 est.)
$318.1 billion (2016 est.)
note: trade data exclude trade with Switzerland
$157.5 billion (2017 est.)
$142.8 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiesmachinery, chemicals, metals, watches, agricultural products
machinery and equipment, motor vehicles and parts, paper and paperboard, metal goods, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles, foodstuffs
Exports - partnersGermany 14.4%, US 12.1%, UK 10.7%, China 9%, Hong Kong 6.1%, France 5.8%, Italy 4.9%, India 4.8% (2016)
Germany 29.9%, US 6.3%, Italy 6.2%, Switzerland 5.7%, Slovakia 4.4% (2016)
Imports$286.7 billion (2017 est.)
$264.9 billion (2016 est.)
$157.6 billion (2017 est.)
$143 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery, chemicals, vehicles, metals; agricultural products, textiles
machinery and equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, metal goods, oil and oil products, natural gas; foodstuffs
Imports - partnersGermany 19.4%, US 9%, Italy 7.4%, UK 7.1%, UAE 6.2%, France 6.1%, China 4.7% (2016)
Germany 42.5%, Italy 6%, Switzerland 5.6%, Czech Republic 4.4%, Netherlands 4% (2016)
Debt - external$1.664 trillion (31 March 2016 est.)
$1.663 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)
$689.1 billion (31 March 2016 est.)
$679.3 billion (31 March 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesSwiss francs (CHF) per US dollar -
0.9875 (2017 est.)
0.9852 (2016 est.)
0.9852 (2015 est.)
0.9627 (2014 est.)
0.9152 (2013 est.)
euros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.906 (2017 est.)
0.9214 (2016 est.)
0.9214 (2015 est.)
0.885 (2014 est.)
0.7634 (2013 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Public debt32.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
32.6% 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 2001 system are debt, except for equity and investment fund shares and financial derivatives and employee stock options
81.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
84.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
note: this is general government gross debt, defined in the Maastricht Treaty as consolidated general government gross debt at nominal value, outstanding at the end of the year; it covers 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; as a percentage of GDP, the GDP used as a denominator is the gross domestic product in current year prices
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$679.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$679.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$23.36 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$22.24 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance$67.33 billion (2017 est.)
$70.54 billion (2016 est.)
$8.546 billion (2017 est.)
$6.642 billion (2016 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$680.6 billion (2016 est.)
$409.3 billion (2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$1.23 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.217 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$245.8 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$242.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$1.556 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.528 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$309.8 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$300.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$1.519 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.495 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
$1.541 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$96.08 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$96.79 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$117.7 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate2.6% (31 December 2017 est.)
2.65% (31 December 2016 est.)
1.7% (31 December 2017 est.)
1.86% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$1.267 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.166 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$556.7 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$489.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$619.4 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$555.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$258.6 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$214 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
note: see entry for the European Union for money supply for the entire euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 18 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders
Stock of broad money$1.335 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.232 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$371.1 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$326.2 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues32.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
48.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)0.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
-1% of GDP (2017 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 8.4%
male: 8.7%
female: 8.1% (2016 est.)
total: 10.6%
male: 11.1%
female: 10% (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 53.7%
government consumption: 11.5%
investment in fixed capital: 24%
investment in inventories: -0.7%
exports of goods and services: 67.5%
imports of goods and services: -56% (2017 est.)
household consumption: 52.1%
government consumption: 19.8%
investment in fixed capital: 23.1%
investment in inventories: 1.1%
exports of goods and services: 54.2%
imports of goods and services: -50.3% (2017 est.)
Gross national saving33.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
33.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
34.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
26.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
25.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
25.4% of GDP (2015 est.)

Energy

SwitzerlandAustria
Electricity - production64.06 billion kWh (2015 est.)
56.05 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - consumption58.45 billion kWh (2015 est.)
62.78 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - exports30.17 billion kWh (2016 est.)
19.19 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports34.1 billion kWh (2016 est.)
26.34 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Oil - production0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
15,160 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - imports58,400 bbl/day (2016 est.)
148,400 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - exports319.1 bbl/day (2016 est.)
0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - proved reserves0 bbl (1 January 2017 es)
43 million bbl (1 January 2017 es)
Natural gas - proved reservesNA cu m (1 January 2011 es)
6.994 billion cu m (1 January 2017 es)
Natural gas - production25 million cu m (2015 est.)
1.263 billion cu m (2015 est.)
Natural gas - consumption4.639 billion cu m (2015 est.)
12.12 billion cu m (2015 est.)
Natural gas - exports0 cu m (2016 est.)
5.407 billion cu m (2015 est.)
Natural gas - imports3.484 billion cu m (2015 est.)
11.48 billion cu m (2015 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity19.62 million kW (2015 est.)
24.44 million kW (2015 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels2.9% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
22.2% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants61% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
33.2% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels17% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources11.1% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
24.3% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production63,400 bbl/day (2016 est.)
188,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption217,400 bbl/day (2016 est.)
267,500 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports8,894 bbl/day (2016 est.)
49,230 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports166,300 bbl/day (2016 est.)
132,100 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy45 million Mt (2013 est.)
78.9 million Mt (2015 est.)
Electricity accesselectrification - total population: 100% (2016)
electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

Telecommunications

SwitzerlandAustria
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 4.029 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 49 (July 2016 est.)
total subscriptions: 3,567,200
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 41 (July 2016 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 11,283,400
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 138 (July 2016 est.)
total: 14.27 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 164 (July 2016 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: highly developed telecommunications infrastructure with excellent domestic and international services
domestic: ranked among leading countries for fixed-line teledensity and infrastructure; mobile-cellular subscribership roughly 140 per 100 persons; extensive cable and microwave radio relay networks
international: country code - 41; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean) (2016)
general assessment: highly developed and efficient
domestic: mobile-cellular subscribership is ubiquitous; cable networks are very extensive, the fiber-optic net is being developed; all telephone applications and Internet services are available; broadband is available in all large municipalities
international: country code - 43; earth stations available in the Astra, Intelsat, Eutelsat satellite systems (2016)
Internet country code.ch
.at
Internet userstotal: 7,312,744
percent of population: 89.4% (July 2016 est.)
total: 7,346,055
percent of population: 84.3% (July 2016 est.)
Broadcast mediathe publicly owned radio and TV broadcaster, Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SRG/SSR), operates 7 national TV networks, 3 broadcasting in German, 2 in Italian, and 2 in French; 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 (2015)
worldwide cable and satellite TV are available; the public incumbent ORF competes with three other major, several regional domestic, and up to 400 international TV stations; TV coverage is in principle 100%, but only 90% use broadcast media; Internet streaming not only complements, but increasingly replaces regular TV stations (2016)

Transportation

SwitzerlandAustria
Railwaystotal: 5,651.5 km
standard gauge: 4,424.8 km 1.435-m gauge (3,634.1 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 2 km 1.200-m gauge (2 km electrified); 1,188.3 km 1.000-m gauge (1,167.3 km electrified); 36.4 km 0.800-m gauge (36.4 km electrified) (2014)
total: 5,800 km (2016)
standard gauge: 5,267.7 km 1.435-m gauge (3,556.4 km electrified) (2014)
Roadwaystotal: 71,464 km
paved: 71,464 km (includes 1,415 of expressways) (2011)
total: 138,696 km
paved: 138,696 km (includes 2,208 km of expressways) (2016)
Waterways1,292 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)
358 km (2011)
Pipelinesgas 1,800 km; oil 94 km; refined products 7 km (2013)
gas 1,888 km; oil 594 km; refined products 157 km (2017)
Ports and terminalsriver port(s): Basel (Rhine)
river port(s): Enns, Krems, Linz, Vienna (Danube)
Merchant marinetotal: 51
by type: bulk carrier 30, general cargo 12, oil tanker 1, other 8 (2017)
total: 1
by type: 1 (2017)
Airports63 (2013)
52 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 40
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 17 (2013)
total: 24
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 13 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 23
under 914 m: 23 (2013)
total: 28
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 24 (2013)
Heliports2 (2013)
1 (2013)
National air transport systemnumber of registered air carriers: 12
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 163
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 26,843,991
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 1,322,379,468 mt-km (2015)
number of registered air carriers: 11
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 130
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 14,718,641
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 351.379 million mt-km (2015)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefixHB (2016)
OE (2016)

Military

SwitzerlandAustria
Military branchesSwiss Armed Forces: Land Forces, Swiss Air Force (Schweizer Luftwaffe) (2013)
Land Forces (KdoLdSK), Air Forces (KdoLuSK) (2014)
Military service age and obligation19-26 years of age for male compulsory military service; 18 years of age for voluntary male and female military service; every Swiss male has to serve at least 260 days in the armed forces; conscripts receive 18 weeks of mandatory training, followed by seven 3-week intermittent recalls for training during the next 10 years (2012)
registration requirement at age 17, the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; 18 is the legal minimum age for compulsory military service (6 months), or optionally, alternative civil/community service (9 months); males 18 to 50 years old in the militia or inactive reserve are subject to compulsory service; in a January 2012 referendum, a majority of Austrians voted in favor of retaining the system of compulsory military service (with the option of alternative/non-military service) instead of switching to a professional army system (2015)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP0.71% of GDP (2016)
0.67% of GDP (2015)
0.66% of GDP (2014)
0.73% of GDP (2013)
0.69% of GDP (2012)
0.68% of GDP (2016 est.)
0.67% of GDP (2015)
0.75% of GDP (2014)
0.75% of GDP (2013)
0.78% of GDP (2012)

Transnational Issues

SwitzerlandAustria
Disputes - internationalnone
none
Illicit drugsa 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
transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and South American cocaine destined for Western Europe; increasing consumption of European-produced synthetic drugs
Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 26,264 (Eritrea); 11,159 (Syria); 5,675 (Afghanistan); 5,458 (Sri Lanka) (2016)
stateless persons: 66 (2016)
refugees (country of origin): 30,958 (Syria); 20,220 (Afghanistan); 13,773 (Russia); 5,555 (Iraq) (2016)
stateless persons: 937 (2016)

Source: CIA Factbook