Beautiful Swiss Mountain Town Is Paying People $60,000 To Move There With One Little Catch

It can be difficult for small towns to maintain their populations when nearby cities offer a more action-packed life. Villages often struggle to compete with the multitude of activities a large metropolis can provide.

Albinen, a scenic mountain town in Switzerland, had this exact problem. It was losing so many of its natives to the nearby cities that its officials decided to come up with a plan to appeal to potential residents.

That’s when they came up with an idea—but when you find out what it was, you’ll be blown away!

Many people choose to move out of small towns and head for big cities where a fast-paced lifestyle awaits. Of course, these towns end up suffering because of this exodus, but one mountain town called Albinen in Switzerland may have figured out a very unique way to reverse all that.

Gerhard Mathieu / CEN

Albinen is located in the Swiss canton of Valais. The scenic town is being threatened with extinction because so many of its residents are moving away from the slow-paced country life and into the surrounding cities.

Gerhard Mathieu / CEN


According to Mayor Beat Jost, the town is characterized by its solitude, unparalleled views, excellent air quality, and continuous sunshine due to its latitude. However, the town’s population has decreased to just 240 people. So, what exactly is Albinen doing to make sure it doesn’t entirely disappear?

Gerhard Mathieu / CEN

It’s actually paying people to move there! It might sound absurd, but it’s completely true! The town’s officials desperately want to reverse the “relocating to the city” trend that so many young people are following, and they feel like this is a surefire way to do so.

Gerhard Mathieu / CEN


In the last few years alone, Albinen saw three families (with a combined eight children) move away, and the town was actually forced to close the school as a result. Now, the remaining seven children who live there are transported to nearby towns to attend school.

Gerhard Mathieu / CEN

The loss of residents has caused a severe lack of jobs, and this has resulted in even more people being forced to move out to find work. It’s a vicious cycle the government of Albinen hopes to end with this new financial offer.

Gerhard Mathieu / CEN

So, exactly how money much is Albinen offering those who decide they want to live a life in the Swiss mountains? Well, if you’re a couple under 45 years of age with two children, you would receive just over $70,000 to either buy a home or purchase land to build one.

Gerhard Mathieu / CEN


The idea of offering people a monetary incentive to move came from a group of younger residents who drew up a petition outlining the details of the payment plan. The motion hasn’t passed quite yet, but the town will soon vote on whether or not to enact this idea.

Gerhard Mathieu / CEN

If this petition does, in fact, become a plan, there are a few things both current and new residents need to know. First, the incentive does not extend to current residents of Albinen who want to purchase second homes.

Gerhard Mathieu / CEN


Second, if a family does decide to accept the money and move to Albinen, the money must be repaid in full if they move away after buying a home or if they move within 10 years after the start of their home’s construction.

Gerhard Mathieu / CEN

A third condition that must be met by all new residents is they need to invest at least $200,000 of their own money along with the amount they are given by the Swiss town. It may sound like a lot, but it would all go toward making Albinen a thriving mountain village again.

Gerhard Mathieu / CEN

Thankfully, new residents aren’t as isolated as they might seem. They could easily travel to nearby cities, since Albinen is only four miles away from the gorgeous spa town of Leukerbad. The industrial city of Visp is just a short 35-minute car ride away, too.

Gerhard Mathieu / CEN


 The municipality president of Albinen has extremely high hopes for the initiative, and he’s positive that it will be accepted by the council. He’s consulted many of his councilmen on the matter, and they all feel it’s the right way to go about restoring the scenic town’s population.

Gerhard Mathieu / CEN

Thomas Egger, the director of the Swiss Working Group for Mountain Areas, says that Albinen is far from the first small scenic town to see a mass exodus of its residents. Many regions are facing the exact same problem.

Gerhard Mathieu / CEN

This is Corippo, an Italian-speaking mountain town located in Switzerland that’s almost completely extinct; the village currently has only 13 residents. It plans on turning the entire place into one huge resort area in an attempt to save its existence.

Gerhard Mathieu / CEN

Corippo was, at one point, a thriving community with cobblestone walkways and small piazzas where people socialized. There was even a small church where many of the 300 residents would congregate each week.

Gerhard Mathieu / CEN

The emptying of these villages is a nationwide problem, and local municipalities are trying all different solutions to keep these beautiful pieces of land from becoming memories. The municipality of Inden, another small mountain town, is starting to grant large discounts for people who shop at the village’s stores.

Gerhard Mathieu / CEN


Mayor Jost said that if the financial motion passes, the entire community would benefit from extra taxes, the village shops would earn more revenue from increased customer flow, the local industry would sign more construction contracts, and the town’s social clubs would come to life through an increased amount of young people.

Gerhard Mathieu / CEN

Hopefully, Albinen is able to succeed with this unique plan so it can become the thriving community it once was! Would you move to Switzerland and take on this opportunity?

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