Officially a Federal City rather than a formal capital city, Bern (also spelled Berne) is nevertheless considered to be the capital of the Swiss Confederation–a landlocked nation in West-Central Europe commonly called Switzerland.
Bern is notable for introducing two world-famous sweets. Theodor Tobler invented the triangular chocolate treat Toblerone in 1908 and to this day Toblerone bars are made in Bern.
Earlier in 1904, Dr. Albert Wander invented the malt, eggs, milk and cocoa concoction Ovaltine also in the Swiss capital.
Switzerland steadfastly remains outside of European Union membership. Still, Switzerland and its capital Bern benefit from international trade, with Swiss exporters generating US$299.6 billion in global sales in 2017. Switzerland’s highest-value exported products are gold, medicines, wrist watches and jewelry according to the International Trade Centre.
Capital Facts for Bern, Switzerland: Quick Reference
Capital landmarks: Federal Palace, Bundeshaus federal building, Clock Tower, Einstein House, Nydegg Church and the Church of the Holy Ghost
Below, you will find 10 of the most famous people born in Bern, Switzerland:
- Patrick Nyema Gerhardt, footballer/soccer player (born Jul. 31, 1985)
- Luca Hänni, singer-songwriter & model (born Oct. 8, 1994)
- Bettina Stuck, actress (born Apr. 18, 1969)
- Markus Imboden, actor, director & writer (born Oct. 17, 1955)
- Pascal Mercier, writer (born Jun. 23, 1944)
- Jean-Pierre Le Roy, actor (born Nov. 11, 1953)
- Nina Burri, actress, model & speaker (born Aug. 23, 1977)
- Giuseppe Bausilio, actor (born Jun. 20, 1997)
- Kadia Saraf, actress, writer & director (born Nov. 9, 1976)
- Ursula Andress, actress (born Mar. 19, 1936)
Note: Data for our Famous People tab was sourced from Google searches mostly targeting published Wikipedia articles specific to each person’s name.
Demonym for a resident of Bern: Bernese
Population: 215,000 (Bern’s built-up urban area)
Density: 9,773 people per square mile (3,773 per square kilometer)
Population: 8,179,294 (Switzerland)
Density: 530 people per square mile (204 per square kilometer)
GDP: US$494.3 billion in 2016 (for Switzerland, per CIA World Factbook)
GDP per person: $59,400
Note: The above country-level GDP metrics are on a Purchasing Power Parity basis and are in U.S. dollars. Credible city GDP statistics for Bern were unavailable.
Official currency used in Bern: Swiss franc
Brookings Institution, Global Metro Monitor Report (includes GDP data). Accessed on January 16, 2017
Demographia, World Urban Area, 12th Annual Edition. Accessed on January 16, 2017
Diccon Bewes, Ten essential facts about Bern. Accessed on January 16, 2017
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on January 16, 2017
Official Government Website, City of Bern. Accessed on January 16, 2017
The World Factbook, Europe: Switzerland, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on January 16, 2017
Wikimedia Commons, City Flags. Accessed on January 16, 2017
Note: Some city flags were unavailable. If so, attribution belongs to Wikimedia Commons for pertinent country flags.
Wikipedia, Bern. Accessed on January 16, 2017
Wikipedia, Switzerland. Accessed on January 16, 2017
Including municipal city limits plus nearby communities, Bern’s built-up urban land area measures 22 square miles (57 square kilometers) with an estimated population of 215,000 people in 2015.
At the country level, Switzerland’s national population was 8.2 million inhabitants as of July 2016 living over a land area equal to 15,443 square miles (39,997 square kilometers).
Since August 1, 1891, the Swiss celebrate Swiss National Day on each August 1 as a public holiday.
Population density is higher within Switzerland’s capital city Bern with an average 9,800 Berneses per square mile (3,800 per square kilometer).
Enlarging the scope to encompass national borders, density drops to an average 530 inhabitants per square mile (204 per square kilometer) for Switzerland overall.