Swiss Plateau

The Swiss Plateau stretches from Lake Geneva in the southwest to Lake Constance in the northeast.

View over the Emmental, canton of Bern
The Emmental region of the Bernese Mittelland ©

It covers around 30% of the country's surface area and is home to two-thirds of the total population. Most of Switzerland's main towns and cities and industrial centres are concentrated in the Plateau.

Around half of the Plateau (49.5%) is given over to agricultural use and one-quarter (24.3%) to forests and woodland. Residential areas and infrastructure account for 16% of land use in the Plateau, twice the national average.

Contrary to what the name suggests, the Swiss Plateau is anything but flat and uniform. It is made up of many hilly areas, several large lakes (Geneva, Neuchâtel, Zurich and Constance) and major rivers like the Aare, Saane/Sarine and Rhine.