Historical Background of Switzerland
Geographically, the country is located in the heart of the Alps in Central Europe. The Alps cover 60 percent of Switzerland's land area, and the Jura near France accounts for another 10 percent of the country's land area. The remaining 30 percent of the land area is located in the Midlands between the other two regions. Switzerland's population approximates seven million. The country's density is 169 persons per square kilometer.

German is the language of 65 percent of the Swiss. An additional 18 percent speak French as a first language, while 12 percent speak Italian, one-percent speak Romanish, all four of which are official languages in Switzerland, and the remaining five-percent of the population speak a variety of other languages as their first language.

The adult literacy rate in Switzerland is 100 percent (World Bank 179). Secondary school enrollment is the equivalent of 100 percent of the appropriate age group, while enrollment in institutions of higher education is the equivalent of 60 percent of the 20-24 age group.

Ethnic relations within Switzerland are good and are characterized by compromise and accommodation when one is considering French-Swiss, German-Swiss, and Italian-Swiss (McRae 74). Ethnic toleration on the part of the Swiss for non Swiss population minorities, however, is lower (Asiatic Escape 77).

Switzerland has the world's highest per capita gross nat

 
 
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