Swiss village to pay newcomers 

In order to avoid Albinen shrinking to a vanishing point, its residents got together and decided to grant each newcomer a hefty financial sum.

Lara Bullens
Lara Bullens NewsMavens, Western Europe
Swiss village to pay newcomers  - NewsMavens
Crowds. Wikicommons

Why this story matters:

Switzerlandcitiesshrinking population

About one month ago, residents from a small Swiss village called Albinen in the southwestern part of the country passed an expensive vote. The oasis of cow bells and hiking trails tucked away in the Rhone valley has a problem: underpopulation. 

In recent years, three families have moved away from the Valais village, taking their eight children with them. The town has 240 inhabitants, but the village school has been shut down and like many mountain villages, it is suffering the exodus of its population.

In order to avoid Albinen shrinking to a vanishing point, its residents got together and decided to grant each newcomer a hefty financial sum. This new regulation, which was accepted by a majority vote of 71%, will provide each adult newcomer with 25,000 Swiss francs. Couples will receive 50,000 and children are worth 10,000.

The catch? It’s simple. You can leave your European metropolis sick with pollution, overpopulation and housing shortages and choose a simple life, but make sure you dedicate yourself to living in Albinen for (at least) 10 years. You also have to be under 45 years of age and must either build or buy a house worth 200,000 Swiss francs (minimum).

With this plan, the council estimates it will be able to accommodate 5 to 10 families in the coming 5 years. So while we’re complaining about how crowded the metro is in Paris and how expensive the housing is in London, might not be such a bad idea for 2018, right?

Details from the story:

  • The Swiss village Albinen only has 240 residents
  • The community voted to pay each adult newcomer 25,000 Swiss francs, each couple 50,000 and each child 10,000 
  • The community will create a common fund in which 100,000 francs will be allocated each year 
  • New residents have to be at least 45 years of age and must commit to 10 years in Albinen 

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