1. Swiss people work a lot
An average Swiss worker spent 1,568 hours working in 2014, 11% fewer hours than the OECD average of 1,770. Workers in Greece (2,042), Portugal (1,857), Ireland (1,821), Italy (1,734) and the United Kingdom (1,677), all spent more hours at work.
- How Switzerland leads Europe on youth employment (Le New – 14.10.15)
2. Switzerland does not take many refugees compared to the rest of Europe
The per capita refugee population of Switzerland was 3.5 times the EU average in 2014 and has been consistently higher for much of recent history. In 2014, Switzerland with a population of 8.3 million, was home to 62,620 refugees – 0.76% of its population. The EU, with a population of 506.9 million, had 1.09 million refugees or 0.21% of its population.
- Switzerland turns away hundreds of Afghan refugees (Le News – 31.11.15)
- Syrian refugees not coming to Switzerland (Le News – 09.09.15)
3. A lot of Swiss work as bankers or watchmakers
In 2012 only 3.4% of Swiss workers were bankers or watchmakers. 55,816 worked in the watch sector and 105,166 in banking. The largest employers were the health and retail sectors.
- Swiss watch boom years over (Le News – 28.12.15)
4. Switzerland has a president
Switzerland has a president only in name. Its head of state is the seven-member Federal Council, which acts as a collective head of state. One of the seven is named president for a one-year term, but does not have any presidential power. Executive decisions are made collectively, not by any individual. The role of Swiss “president” is more akin to that of an ambassador than a true head of state.
- The Swiss president’s commute goes viral on Twitter (Le News – 05.09.14)
5. Swiss eat the most cheese
The Swiss eat a lot of cheese. In 2014 the average Swiss resident ate 21.37 kilograms of it according to the Swiss Farmers Union. Somewhat surprisingly the Swiss are lightweights when it comes to cheese eating. The website cheeserank.com places Switzerland in only eighth position, well behind the French who topped the scale at a whopping 26.3 kilograms of cheese per year, equivalent to one fondue a fortnight more than the Swiss.
- Swiss are not the world’s biggest cheese eaters (Le News – 18.03.15)