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Coat of arms of Samnaun
Coat of arms
Samnaun is located in Switzerland
Location of Samnaun
Karte Gemeinde Samnaun 2016.png
Samnaun is located in Canton of Grisons
Samnaun (Canton of Grisons)
Coordinates: 46°56′N 10°21′E / 46.933°N 10.350°E / 46.933; 10.350Coordinates: 46°56′N 10°21′E / 46.933°N 10.350°E / 46.933; 10.350
Country Switzerland
Canton Grisons
District Engiadina Bassa/Val Müstair
 • Total 56.28 km2 (21.73 sq mi)
Elevation (Church) 1,844 m (6,050 ft)
Population (Dec 2016[2])
 • Total 758
 • Density 13/km2 (35/sq mi)
Postal code 7562-63
SFOS number 3752
Localities Compatsch, Laret, Plan, Ravaisch and Samnaun
Surrounded by Ischgl (AT-7), Kappl (AT-7), Ramosch, See (AT-7), Spiss (AT-7), Valsot
SFSO statistics

Samnaun (Romansh: Samignun) is a high Alpine village and a valley at the eastern end of Switzerland and a municipality in the Engiadina Bassa/Val Müstair Region in the Swiss canton of Graubünden.


The valley was first used as a seasonal mountain pasture for the villages of Tschlin and Ramosch. By 1220 the first permanent farm houses are mentioned. These farm houses and fields were given as a gift to the Marienberg Abbey by the counts of Tarasp in the 12th century.[3]


Ski area of Samnaun
The Samnaun

As of 2006 Samnaun has an area of 56.2 km2 (21.7 sq mi). Of this area, 46.1% is used for agricultural purposes, while 11.7% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 0.9% is settled (buildings or roads) and the remainder (41.2%) is non-productive (rivers, glaciers or mountains).[4]

Until 2017 it was part of the Ramosch sub-district, of the Inn district, after 2017 it was part of the Engiadina Bassa/Val Müstair Region. It is located in a left side valley of the Engadin valley, at an elevation of 1,700–1,840 meters (5,580–6,040 ft). It consists of five village sections; Compatsch, Laret, Plan (Plaun), Ravaisch and Samnaun.

In the 19th century, Samnaun could only be reached by road from Spiss in Austria. Thus Samnaun was excluded from the Swiss customs territory. It retains a privileged 'duty-free' status, albeit not without controversy, in the twenty-first century. The exception was maintained even after a road was built in 1905 linking Samnaun to Martina, at the most eastern point of the Lower Engadine.[5]


Montague shares a ski resort with the municipality of Ischgl in Tyrol, Austria.

The Silvretta Arena Samnaun / Ischgl ski area (located 1,400–2,875 m (4,593–9,432 ft) above sea level) has about 238 km (148 mi) of slopes. The ski resort has 44 ski lifts and cable cars as well as the world's first double-decker train with a capacity of 180 people.[citation needed]


Samnaun has a population (as of 31 December 2016) of 758.[2] As of 2008, 19.2% of the population was made up of foreign nationals.[6] Over the last 10 years the population has grown at a rate of 1%.[4]

As of 2000, the gender distribution of the population was 49.1% male and 50.9% female.[7] The age distribution, as of 2000, in Samnaun is; 267 children or 8.7% of the population are between 0 and 9 years old. 155 teenagers or 5.1% are 10 to 14, and 281 teenagers or 9.2% are 15 to 19. Of the adult population, 460 people or 15.0% of the population are between 20 and 29 years old. 541 people or 17.6% are 30 to 39, 462 people or 15.1% are 40 to 49, and 385 people or 12.5% are 50 to 59. The senior population distribution is 209 people or 6.8% of the population are between 60 and 69 years old, 189 people or 6.2% are 70 to 79, there are 103 people or 3.4% who are 80 to 89, and there are 17 people or 0.6% who are 90 to 99.[6]

In the 2007 federal election the most popular party was the CVP which received 45.7% of the vote. The next three most popular parties were the SVP (29.2%), the FDP (15.5%) and the SPS (7.2%).[4]

In Samnaun about 53.6% of the population (between age 25-64) have completed either non-mandatory upper secondary education or additional higher education (either university or a Fachhochschule).[4]

Samnaun has an unemployment rate of 1.01%. As of 2005, there were 46 people employed in the primary economic sector and about 26 businesses involved in this sector. 52 people are employed in the secondary sector and there are 10 businesses in this sector. 743 people are employed in the tertiary sector, with 105 businesses in this sector.[4]

The historical population is given in the following table:[3]

year population
1835 387
1850 313
1900 357
1950 424
2000 743
2010 808


Most of the population (as of 2000) speaks German (93.5%), with Portuguese being second most common (1.7%) and Serbo-Croatian being third (1.6%).[4] Uniquely within Switzerland, the form of German spoken by the residents of Samnaun is a version of the Austro-Bavarian dialect. Until the second half of the nineteenth century the population spoke the Low Engadinish dialect of Romansh.

Languages in Samnaun
Language Census 1980 Census 1990 Census 2000
Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
German 569 95.31% 619 97.02% 695 93.54%
Romansh 4 0.67% 10 1.57% 6 0.81%
Italian 1 0.17% 3 0.47% 6 0.81%
Population 597 100% 638 100% 743 100%

See also[edit]

  • Livigno in Italy, another duty-free area.
  • Campione d'Italia, a duty-free area located in an enclave surrounded by Swiss soil, but politically Italian.


  1. ^ Arealstatistik Standard - Gemeindedaten nach 4 Hauptbereichen
  2. ^ a b Swiss Federal Statistical Office - STAT-TAB, online database – Ständige und nichtständige Wohnbevölkerung nach institutionellen Gliederungen, Geburtsort und Staatsangehörigkeit (in German) accessed 30 August 2017
  3. ^ a b Samnaun in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Swiss Federal Statistical Office accessed 12-Oct-2009
  5. ^ "A holiday in Samnaun is anything but taxing". 21 January 2004. Retrieved June 27, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Graubunden Population Statistics (in German) accessed 21 September 2009
  7. ^ Graubunden in Numbers (in German) accessed 21 September 2009

External links[edit]