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Skyline of Unterbäch
Coat of arms of Unterbäch
Coat of arms
Location of Unterbäch
Unterbäch is located in Switzerland
Unterbäch is located in Canton of Valais
Coordinates: 46°16′N 7°47′E / 46.267°N 7.783°E / 46.267; 7.783Coordinates: 46°16′N 7°47′E / 46.267°N 7.783°E / 46.267; 7.783
 • MayorRosa Weissen-Zenhäusern
 • Total22.0 km2 (8.5 sq mi)
1,193 m (3,914 ft)
 • Total436
 • Density20/km2 (51/sq mi)
Postal code
SFOS number6201
Surrounded byBürchen, Eischoll, Embd, Ergisch, Niedergesteln, Raron, Törbel
SFSO statistics

Unterbäch is a municipality in the district of Raron in the canton of Valais in Switzerland.


Unterbäch is first mentioned about 1280 as Underbechque.[3] On 18 August 1957, Unterbäch was the first community in Switzerland to establish the communal voting and election rights for women.



Unterbäch has an area, as of 2011, of 22 square kilometers (8.5 sq mi). Of this area, 27.7% is used for agricultural purposes, while 27.7% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 1.6% is settled (buildings or roads) and 43.0% is unproductive land.[4]

The municipality is located in the Westlich Raron district, on a high terrace above the left bank of the Rhone river.

Coat of arms[edit]

The blazon of the municipal coat of arms is Gules, a Patriarchal Cross Or issuant from Coupeaux Vert.[5]


Multi-family houses in Unterbäch
Old house in Unterbäch

Unterbäch has a population (as of December 2017) of 421.[6] As of 2008, 3.1% of the population are resident foreign nationals.[7] Over the last 10 years (2000–2010 ) the population has changed at a rate of -9.7%. It has changed at a rate of -6.2% due to migration and at a rate of -3.8% due to births and deaths.[4]

Most of the population (as of 2000) speaks German (410 or 96.2%) as their first language, Albanian is the second most common (8 or 1.9%) and French is the third (3 or 0.7%).[8]

As of 2008, the population was 47.9% male and 52.1% female. The population was made up of 190 Swiss men (46.5% of the population) and 6 (1.5%) non-Swiss men. There were 207 Swiss women (50.6%) and 6 (1.5%) non-Swiss women.[9] Of the population in the municipality, 256 or about 60.1% were born in Unterbäch and lived there in 2000. There were 90 or 21.1% who were born in the same canton, while 46 or 10.8% were born somewhere else in Switzerland, and 31 or 7.3% were born outside of Switzerland.[8]

As of 2000, children and teenagers (0–19 years old) make up 23.2% of the population, while adults (20–64 years old) make up 59.6% and seniors (over 64 years old) make up 17.1%.[4]

As of 2000, there were 167 people who were single and never married in the municipality. There were 225 married individuals, 22 widows or widowers and 12 individuals who are divorced.[8]

As of 2000, there were 159 private households in the municipality, and an average of 2.6 persons per household.[4] There were 39 households that consist of only one person and 16 households with five or more people. In 2000, a total of 154 apartments (28.4% of the total) were permanently occupied, while 352 apartments (64.8%) were seasonally occupied and 37 apartments (6.8%) were empty.[10] The vacancy rate for the municipality, in 2010, was 2.81%.[4]

The historical population is given in the following chart:[3][11]


The entire Turtig/Wandfluh region is designated as part of the Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites[12]


In the 2007 federal election the most popular party was the CVP which received 71.86% of the vote. The next three most popular parties were the SP (13.96%), the SVP (9.41%) and the FDP (2.78%). In the federal election, a total of 196 votes were cast, and the voter turnout was 56.5%.[13]

In the 2009 Conseil d'Etat/Staatsrat election a total of 191 votes were cast, of which 1 or about 0.5% were invalid. The voter participation was 59.1%, which is similar to the cantonal average of 54.67%.[14] In the 2007 Swiss Council of States election a total of 188 votes were cast, of which 6 or about 3.2% were invalid. The voter participation was 56.0%, which is similar to the cantonal average of 59.88%.[15]


As of  2010, Unterbäch had an unemployment rate of 1.5%. As of 2008, there were 42 people employed in the primary economic sector and about 16 businesses involved in this sector. 27 people were employed in the secondary sector and there were 6 businesses in this sector. 83 people were employed in the tertiary sector, with 17 businesses in this sector.[4] There were 191 residents of the municipality who were employed in some capacity, of which females made up 37.2% of the workforce.

In 2008 the total number of full-time equivalent jobs was 104. The number of jobs in the primary sector was 16, all of which were in agriculture. The number of jobs in the secondary sector was 26 of which 11 or (42.3%) were in manufacturing and 14 (53.8%) were in construction. The number of jobs in the tertiary sector was 62. In the tertiary sector; 10 or 16.1% were in wholesale or retail sales or the repair of motor vehicles, 9 or 14.5% were in the movement and storage of goods, 30 or 48.4% were in a hotel or restaurant, 2 or 3.2% were the insurance or financial industry and 2 or 3.2% were technical professionals or scientists.[16]

In 2000, there were 22 workers who commuted into the municipality and 103 workers who commuted away. The municipality is a net exporter of workers, with about 4.7 workers leaving the municipality for every one entering.[17] Of the working population, 22.5% used public transportation to get to work, and 43.5% used a private car.[4]


Church of Unterbäch

From the 2000 census, 373 or 87.6% were Roman Catholic, while 23 or 5.4% belonged to the Swiss Reformed Church. Of the rest of the population, there were 2 members of an Orthodox church (or about 0.47% of the population), and there were 6 individuals (or about 1.41% of the population) who belonged to another Christian church. There were 12 (or about 2.82% of the population) who were Islamic. 7 (or about 1.64% of the population) belonged to no church, are agnostic or atheist, and 6 individuals (or about 1.41% of the population) did not answer the question.[8]


In Unterbäch about 175 or (41.1%) of the population have completed non-mandatory upper secondary education, and 26 or (6.1%) have completed additional higher education (either university or a Fachhochschule). Of the 26 who completed tertiary schooling, 69.2% were Swiss men, 19.2% were Swiss women.[8]

As of 2000, there were 57 students from Unterbäch who attended schools outside the municipality.[17]

Unterbäch is home to the Schul- und Gemeindebibliothek (municipal library of Unterbäch). The library has (as of 2008) 4,164 books or other media, and loaned out 2,511 items in the same year. It was open a total of 156 days with average of 7 hours per week during that year.[18]

Honorary citizenship[edit]

Elisabeth Kopp


  1. ^ a b "Arealstatistik Standard - Gemeinden nach 4 Hauptbereichen". Federal Statistical Office. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Ständige Wohnbevölkerung nach Staatsangehörigkeitskategorie Geschlecht und Gemeinde; Provisorische Jahresergebnisse; 2018". Federal Statistical Office. 9 April 2019. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  3. ^ a b Unterbäch in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Swiss Federal Statistical Office accessed 13-October-2011
  5. ^ Flags of the World.com accessed 13-October-2011
  6. ^ "STAT-TAB – Ständige und nichtständige Wohnbevölkerung nach institutionellen Gliederungen, Geburtsort und Staatsangehörigkeit" (online database) (official site) (in German and French). Neuchâtel, Switzerland: Federal Statistical Office - FSO. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  7. ^ Swiss Federal Statistical Office - Superweb database - Gemeinde Statistics 1981-2008 ‹See Tfd›(in German) accessed 19 June 2010
  8. ^ a b c d e STAT-TAB Datenwürfel für Thema 40.3 - 2000 Archived 9 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine ‹See Tfd›(in German) accessed 2 February 2011
  9. ^ Ständige Wohnbevolkerung nach Geschlecht und Heimat am 31.12.2009.xls ‹See Tfd›(in German) ‹See Tfd›(in French) accessed 24 August 2011
  10. ^ Swiss Federal Statistical Office STAT-TAB - Datenwürfel für Thema 09.2 - Gebäude und Wohnungen Archived 7 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine ‹See Tfd›(in German) accessed 28 January 2011
  11. ^ Swiss Federal Statistical Office STAT-TAB Bevölkerungsentwicklung nach Region, 1850-2000 Archived 30 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine ‹See Tfd›(in German) accessed 29 January 2011
  12. ^ "Kantonsliste A-Objekte". KGS Inventar (in German). Federal Office of Civil Protection. 2009. Archived from the original on 28 June 2010. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  13. ^ Swiss Federal Statistical Office, Nationalratswahlen 2007: Stärke der Parteien und Wahlbeteiligung, nach Gemeinden/Bezirk/Canton ‹See Tfd›(in German) accessed 28 May 2010
  14. ^ Staatsratswahlen vom 1. März 2009 ‹See Tfd›(in German) accessed 24 August 2011
  15. ^ Ständeratswahl 2007 ‹See Tfd›(in German) accessed 24 August 2011
  16. ^ Swiss Federal Statistical Office STAT-TAB Betriebszählung: Arbeitsstätten nach Gemeinde und NOGA 2008 (Abschnitte), Sektoren 1-3 Archived 25 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine ‹See Tfd›(in German) accessed 28 January 2011
  17. ^ a b Swiss Federal Statistical Office - Statweb Archived 4 August 2012 at Archive.today ‹See Tfd›(in German) accessed 24 June 2010
  18. ^ Swiss Federal Statistical Office, list of libraries Archived 6 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine ‹See Tfd›(in German) accessed 14 May 2010

External links[edit]