Today’s post continues the GeoCurrents initiative of distributing free customizable base maps made with easy-to-use presentation software (PowerPoint and Keynote [preferred]). The files found at the bottom of this post contain customizable base maps of Switzerland (by canton) and Poland (by voivodeships, or województwo). The customizable map of Switzerland also includes a few of the country’s largest cities. As the base map of Poland was used to make maps that illustrated a previous GeoCurrents post, it is not used for today’s thematic maps. Instead, the maps featured in the current post are based on the customizable map of Switzerland.
In making the per capita GDP map of Switzerland, I was somewhat surprised by disparities found among the country’s cantons. The high levels of economic production found in Geneva, the city of Basel, and Zurich were not unexpected—but that of Zug was. But as it turns out, the answer here is simple. As noted in the Wikipedia article on the canton:
The capital Zug is home to a large number of companies which only have their headquarters in the city. This is the case because Zug has one of the lowest taxes in Switzerland. Trade in particular is of great significance. There are a large number of small and middle sized businesses in all areas of the economy. There are over 24,300 registered companies and over 70,000 jobs in the canton, with 12,900 of the registered companies in the city of Zug.
I was curious to see of there is a relationship between per capita GDP and the presence of foreign nationals in Switzerland, as migrants often head for the most economically productive areas. I was not, however, able to find high-quality data on the percentage of foreign nationals by Swiss cantons. But as all but one Wikipedia article on the cantons contain this information, albeit in outdated form, I was able to make a map. As one can see, Zug does have a high percentage of foreign nationals, although the figures for Geneva and the city of Basel are, not surprisingly, higher. Italian-speaking Ticino also has a relatively high percentage of foreign nationals.
I was also a little surprised by the high level of per capita GDP in remote and lightly populated Grisons/Graubünden. High-end tourism seems to be the main reason. As noted in the Wikipedia article on the canton:
24 per cent of the workforce are employed in industry whereas 68 per cent work in the service industry where tourism reaches a remarkable 14 per cent of the GDP. Tourism is concentrated around the towns of Davos/Arosa, Flims and St. Moritz/Pontresina. There are, however, a great number of other tourist resorts in the canton, divided by the official tourist board for winter sports for example into categories “Top – Large – Small and beautiful” -yet still not including all of them.
Customizable Maps Switzerland, Poland (PowerPoint)
Customizable Maps Switzerland, Poland (Keynote)