Population. – At the census of 10 December 1941, the last one carried out, Switzerland counted 4,265,703 residents with a density of 103 residents per sq. km. of territorial area, and 133 residents per sq. km. of production area. In the period 1930-41 the population increased by 4.9% (equal to an average of 4.4 ‰ per year), while in the years from 1942 to 1945 this increase was equal to 8.4 ‰. The apparent contrast between the increase of the period 1930-41 and that of 1942-45 is easily explained by the cancellation in the latter period of the emigration, which was still significant in the previous period. Foreigners present in Switzerland in 1941 were 223,554, while approximately an equal number of Swiss were resident in the
Divided by nationality, these foreigners, again according to the 1941 census, add up to 78,274 Germans (29,771 men, 48,503 women); 96,018 Italians (45,818 men, 50,200 women); 24,396 French (9248 men, 15,148 women); 24,866 of other nationalities (11,825 men, 13,041 women). As can be seen, the total number of Italians, significantly lower than that of 1930 (127,903), is however one third higher than that of foreigners who speak Italian, which will be discussed later. This shows that a good part of the Italians residing in the cantons of Switzerland where another language is spoken have been linguistically assimilated, even though they have not lost their nationality. These are Italians who have been living in Switzerland for a few generations, and therefore already included in the economic or cultural life of the country,
The total demographic movement of the cantons is very varied; for the most part they have an active demographic movement (only 5 are in decline); for 7 cautioners in the north-western area it is below 5% for the period 1930-41, for 5 it is between 5 and 7%, while for another 8 it is above 7%: in the latter category include, inter alia, the cantons of Zurich, Lucerne and Valais. According to the 1941 census, four cities had over 100,000 residents: Zurich (336,395), Basel (162,105), Bern (130,331) and Geneva (124,431); another 4 counted over 50,000 residents namely: Lausanne (92,541), St. Gallen (62,530), Winterthur (58,183) and Lucerne (54,716).
According to the most recent data, Switzerland has 2986 municipalities of which 262 (8.78%) can be considered municipalities with a prevalent industrial and commercial activity (18 of them can be considered as the main human agglomerations, whose area varies between 51.3 and 5 sq. km.); 1444 are mixed municipalities (industrial-rural) and 1280 municipalities with predominantly rural activity.
Languages. – The relationship between the different languages spoken in the territory of the Confederation shows some variations, according to the 1941 census, in comparison with the data already reported. On the other hand, this census takes into account the recognition of Romansh as the fourth national language. As a result, a total of 3,097,060 residents speak German, of whom 2,987,185 are Swiss and 109,875 foreigners; speak French 884,669 residents (844,230 Swiss and 40,439 foreigners); the Italian 220,530 residents (158,690 Swiss and 61,840 foreigners); the Romansh 46,456 residents (45,653 Swiss and 803 foreigners); other languages 16,988 (6391 Swiss and 10,597 foreigners).
Religions. – The breakdown of the population among the various professed religions is as follows: 2,457,242 Protestants, 1,754,204 Catholics, 19,429 Israelites, 34,828 of other denominations.
Immediately after the decadent Fauvism of a Kohler or an Auberjonois, Switzerland does not seem to have produced a current of its own either in painting or sculpture. However, it can be noted that, apart from the expressionism tinged with a surrealistic and symbolistic decadentism, moving between Ensor and Klee, by the painter Walter Kurt Wiemken, of Basel (1907-41), most of the most important artists born in Switzerland, even if they later settled and developed their work abroad, they tended towards abstract and surrealist forms. In fact, the greatest of all, namely Paul Klee (see in this App.) Belonged to this trend and the sculptor Alberto Giacometti (see in this App.) And the painter Kurt Seligman (born in 1900) also belong, followed by the sculptor Sergio Brignoni (born in 1903).
In its capacity as a tourist center, however, Switzerland has created a true art in the field of billboards and basically it is from this point of view that the personality of an artist who has recently emerged in great light, that of the painter Hans Erni, must be evaluated.
More recently, by substantially developing the same research plan for pure forms that can be easily industrialized, a vast current of completely abstract painters and sculptors has formed, culminating in the exhibition Konkrete Kunst (Kunsthalle, Basel, 1944), and headed by the painter, sculptor, architect and art writer Max Bill who is surrounded by artists such as Leo Leuppi, Richard Paul Lohse, Camille Graeser, Walter Bodmer, Max Huber, etc.