Switzerland has about 8 million inhabitants.
The structure of the population of Switzerland is marked by a linguistic diversity, by the increase of the average age of the population and by the high percentage of foreign inhabitants in the general population.
Of the 8 million inhabitants, more than 22.7% are not Swiss nationals.
The average age of the population is increasing because people live longer and are having fewer children.
Languages in Switzerland
In Switzerland there are four official languages and also many dialects.
Most of the population lives in German-speaking part of Switzerland. In 19 of the 26 cantons, the predominant languages are the Swiss-German dialects.
In the western part of the country, in Suisse romande, French is spoken. Four cantons are French-speaking: Geneva / Vaud / Neuchâtel / Jura. Three cantons are bilingual: in Bern, Freiburg and in the Valais they speak German and French.
Italian is spoken in Ticino and in four valleys in the south of the canton of Grisons.
The canton of Grisons is multilingual. There they speak German, Italian and Romansh. With 0.5% of the population, the Romans are the smallest language group in Switzerland. Within this group, there are five or – rather – six different languages: Sursilvan, Sutsilvan, Surmiran, Puter and Vallader. Since 1982 there is still Rumantsch Grischun, which is a linguistic compromise among the five Straight-Roman languages.
Others (6.6 %)
Many foreigners living in Switzerland also contribute to the linguistic diversity. In Switzerland, there are more and more people whose mother tongue is not one of the four ‘Swiss official languages’.
- German 63,5% 63,5%
- French 22,5% 22,5%
- Italian 8,1% 8,1%
- Romansh 0,5% 0,5%
- Others 6,6% 6,6%
In different linguistic regions there are different traditions and eating habits.
The common history of the linguistic regions is only about 200 years.
Sometimes the Swiss themselves find it difficult to describe what they have in common
– in addition to the passport – with the inhabitants of the other linguistic regions.
In this context, there is often talk of a nation formed by free will:
a unit is formed voluntarily, even without homogeneity.
In Switzerland, most of the workforce is employed by small and medium-sized
enterprises which play an extremely important role in the country’s economy.
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