The Swiss economy is also dependent on its trade with EU nations. As much as eighty percent of its exports are within this region and ninety percent of its imports were also from the EU region. The ethnic composition of Switzerland is very diverse. Of its total citizenry, 74 percent are of German origin, 20 percent are of French ancestry, and the rest belong Italian, Romansh and other ethnicities. Consequently, German is the predominant language, while French is also widely spoken. Most of the population is affiliated to Christianity, with both Roman Catholic and Protestant denominations finding equal representation (Offler, et.Switzerland has one of the most advanced public healthcare systems in the world. The system is regulated by the Federal Health Insurance Act, enacted in 1994. All citizens of Switzerland are required to have health insurance coverage, which covers the costs incurred for surgeries, physician consultations, hospitalization charges, pharmacy expenses, etc. The insured individual contributes a reasonable percentage of the total cost of healthcare, whereas the government bears the majority of the costs. Switzerland has, along with the three Scandinavian countries of Norway, Denmark and Sweden, one of the most efficient and cost effective public healthcare systems in the world. The health outcomes for hospitalized patients are also very impressive (www.Although the life expectancy for a Swiss citizen is 82 years, there is concern with respect to infant mortality rates. UNICEF released ranking system places Switzerland at a dismal position of 166. As of 2007, one in twenty Swiss infants die before reaching the age of five. But some steps are already being taken to address this. A Short History of Switzerland.
Offler, H. S., Bonjour, E. & Potter, G. R. (1992). A Short History of Switzerland. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Switzerland. (2007). In The Columbia Encyclopedia (6th ed.). New York: Columbia University Press.
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The Country of Switzerland, retrieved from <(http://www.about.ch/geography/index.html)> on 8th June, 2009
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