Switzerland is located in the crossroads of northern and southern Europe, along with southeastern France, northern Italy, and southwestern Austria. Though covered by the Alps, the Alpine foothills, and the Jura hills, 75 percent of the Swiss live in urban settings. It is one of the smallest countries in Europe with a total land area of 15,940 square miles (41,285 square kilometers); as of July 2012, the population was estimated at 7,655,628. National languages include German (spoken by 63.7 of Swiss), French (20.4 percent), Italian (6.5 percent), and Rumantsch (0.5 percent). In 2002, 41.8 percent of the population identified as Roman Catholic, 35.3 percent as Protestant, 4.3 percent as Muslim, and 1.8 percent as Eastern Orthodox Christians.

Historical and Social Structure

Human history can be traced back ...

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