Did a cash incentive to relocate to an alpine village work?

What happened to the alpine village that decided to use an economic incentive to reverse its diminishing population? (RSI,

This content was published on November 19, 2018 - 13:43

Albinen, with just over 200 residents, is located 1,300 metres above the Rhone valley with stunning views of the Alps. Despite fitting the stereotypical, picturesque alpine village, it had a problem. The village was losing its inhabitants and as the village emptied, even more wanted to leave. 

The people of Albinen decided to take the matter into their own hands. At the end of November 2017, the residents voted in favour of a plan to attract newcomersExternal link by offering them CHF25,000 ($25,080) under certain conditions. Applicants had to be below the age of 45, commit themselves to living in the village for at least ten years, be able to invest a minimum of CHF200,000 in a property, and, if a foreigner, have a C resident permit.

The news of the small Swiss village offering an economic incentive to avoid becoming a ghost town grabbed international media attention. So, what has happened in the past year? Swiss public television, RSI, followed up.

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