Geneva is a city located in Switzerland. The city is the capital of the Republic and Canton of Geneva. The population at the end of 2016 was 198,979, making it the second largest city in the country in terms of population. This global city has become known around the world for its financial center, which has been ranked as one of the most important in the world. This city also has been ranked as having a very high quality of life for its citizens, making it an ideal place to reside.
City Size and Population Density
The city of Geneva covers an area of approximately 15.9 square kilometers (6.15 square miles). In combination with the population growing closer to 200,000, the population density comes to 12,000 per kilometer (32,000 per square mile).
The official language of Geneva is French, which is spoken by over 72%of the population. Approximately 4.4% of the population speaks English, while 4.2% speak Spanish. Other languages spoken around the city include German and Italian.
Almost half of the population is made up of resident foreign nationals. Just over 15% of the population was born in other Swiss cities, while over 43% were born outside of Switzerland.
Per census data, 37.4% of residents reported following the Roman Catholic religion, while 23.20% did not follow any religion. Other religions include the Swiss Reformed Church, Muslim, and Jewish, to name a few.
Geneva has a fascinating history that dates back to 121 BC. This border town became a Christian city and was ruled throughout the Middle Ages under the Roman Empire. In the 14th Century, Geneva received a charter that gave it the power to self-govern. The Protestant Reformation had a considerable impact on the city, and John Calvin – the founder of Calvinism – was a spiritual leader. In the 18th century, the city was under the influence of Catholic France.
Geneva became part of the Swiss Confederation in the 1800s, and in the early 1900s, there was a separation of church and state. In modern times, Geneva has done quite well economically. Its financial sector has especially flourished. Its financial center is ranked as the 15th most competitive in the world. The city is also home to many large companies including but not limited to DuPont, Caterpillar, Electronic Arts, and Oracle. The city has previously been ranked as one of the most expensive cities in the world. It has also been named as one of the best cities in terms of the quality of life of its citizens.
Geneva Population Growth
Geneva has traditionally seen a pattern of steady growth since 1850 when the population was less than 40,000. Just 50 years later, the population had more than doubled almost to reach 100,000. Growth continued throughout the early and mid-1900s before peaking in 1970 with a total count of over 173,000 residents. Between 1970 and 1990, the population declined by several thousand before rebounding again in the year 2000. Generally, though, the city has seen significant growth, and with its role in the financial industry and the high quality of life enjoyed by its citizens, growth is only expected to continue for this Swiss city.