Switzerland is located in the heart of western Europe. It is sometimes also described as an island, referring to its position as an island in the midst of the European Union (EU). Switzerland is not a member of the EU, but most of its neighbours are – Germany, France, Italy and Austria. The areas where three major languages are spoken – German, French and Italian – converge in Switzerland.
Switzerland plays an important role in road and rail transport due to its central position in western Europe. One of the most important transport links between the north and south goes over and through the Swiss Alps – the Gotthard Pass.
Switzerland is one of Europe’s smallest states, covering an area of 41,300 km2. It is comparable to Denmark and is half the size of Austria. More than eight million people live in Switzerland. Over 60% of the population is aged between 20 and 64. (Source: Swiss Federal Statistical Office, as at 2014).