The picturesque Swiss village of Albinen, located in the shadow of mount Valais Canton, has been depopulated by the departure of its inhabitants. The current population stands at just 240 residents.
In response, the town council voted on an initiative that aims to repopulate the community by paying bonuses to every newly arrived family. Under the plan, each new adult resident will be paid 25,000 swiss francs (US$25,600), with an additional 10,000 swiss francs (US$10,200) per child.
Albinen is located in the southwest of Switzerland. It covers 6 square miles and is at an altitude of 4,300 ft in the Alps. In 2011, just 266 townsfolk inhabited the area, and in 2017 this number diminished even further to 240. This has meant that its population density is now equal to less than 50 people per square mile.
The town has much to offer, but a steady exodus of young people and families has negatively impacted the community, even the local school was recently shut down.
There are many open spaces and forests in Albinen. The majestic mountains provide a scenic view, fresh air, clean water, and tranquility for the inhabitants.
As if that wasn’t all the doctor ordered, one of Europe’s largest medical wellness centers, Leukerbad, is located less than 4 miles away. But if you’re feeling spritely and just need a place to soak your soul in goodness, the village also offers beauty and relaxation in its thermal bath complex.
At its heart, Albinen is farmland country without other local job prospects. However, with several larger towns nearby, young people can easily find jobs and commute to work. And for those who are able to work remotely, this may also prove possible.
For people who want to give up the hustle and bustle of city living, there are certain conditions attached to the proposed offer. New residents must:
- Be under the age of 45 and remain living in Albinen for at least 10 years.
- Build or purchase a property to live at full time that is worth at least 200,000 Swiss francs (US$200,000) – this property must not be used as a holiday home.
- Help to reconstruct the local school.
Residents will forfeit their monetary bonus if they depart before their 10-year period concludes.
With a little bit of ingenuity, and with a spirit of adventure, the right people will find a home in Albinen. This is surely a once in a lifetime opportunity!
Translated by Jean Chen.