Alpine countries

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States in the Alpine region

Alpine countries are countries that partially or completely belong to the Alpine region . The terms Alpine state and Alpine riparian state denote the corresponding states and are often used synonymously. According to another understanding, a relatively large part of its area belongs to the Alps in an Alpine country or Alpine state, and a smaller part of its area in an Alpine bordering state.

All eight Alpine states have signed the so-called Alpine Convention . In these states there are a total of 6,200 municipalities and around 100 NUTS3 regions in the Alps.

Land areas and Alpine areas

Alpine countries in Europe
Alpine regions by country

The statistical ranking is different depending on the point of view. A large country can have significant shares in the Alps, even if these only take up a small proportion of its area. Another picture emerges when looking at the proportion of the population.

  • The parts of Switzerland and Slovenia in the Alps each account for more than 40% of the country's area, in Austria it is even more than 60%, with around half of all residents living in the Alps (almost a third of all Alpine residents) , in Slovenia a third and in Switzerland a quarter (around one eighth of the Alpine population).
  • The only Alpine state that lies entirely in the high Alps is the Principality of Liechtenstein . The Principality of Monaco while also lies entirely in the greater region of the Alps, but has no significant elevations. Due to the small state area, both have hardly any share of the area and population of the Alpine region.
  • Austria, Italy and France have significant shares in the Alps. The alpine parts of these countries together make up 77% of the area of ​​the Alpine region, three quarters of the population of the Alps (over 10 million) live in these three states. In contrast to Austria, however, the Alps only make up a small part of the land area in the two larger countries (Italy 17%, France 7%).
  • The alpine areas of Germany have the lowest proportion of the area and population of the state (3 and 2% respectively) .

Concerning Hungary and Croatia : In terms of natural geography and geology, the Alps extend beyond the Austrian eastern border ( Ödenburger Gebirge , Günser Bergland ), so that Hungary also has a share of around 20 km² in the Alps. It is generally not counted among the Alpine states. The same applies to Croatia - in some Alpine divisions, which are now considered outdated ( Partizione delle Alpi  1926), Istria and the Karst are also included in the Alps.


Country Alpine area
in km²
Alpine area
Share of the Alps as a
Share of the Alps in
the total state:
N / S
W / O
GermanyGermany Germany 000000000011100.000000000011,100 (1) 000000000000005.80000000005.8 000000001380000.00000000001,380,000    000000000000010.100000000010.1 000000000000003.00000000003 000000000000002.00000000002 2 6th
FranceFrance France 000000000040800.000000000040,800 (2) 000000000000021.000000000021st 000000002450000.00000000002,450,000    000000000000018.000000000018.0 000000000000007.00000000007th 000000000000004.00000000004th 7th 1
ItalyItaly Italy 000000000052000.000000000052,000    000000000000027.000000000027 000000004100000.00000000004,100,000    000000000000030.100000000030.1 000000000000017.000000000017th 000000000000007.00000000007th 5 3
LiechtensteinLiechtenstein Liechtenstein 000000000000160.0000000000160    000000000000000.08000000000.08 000000000035000.000000000035,000    000000000000000.20000000000.2 000000000000100.0000000000100 000000000000100.0000000000100 4th 5
MonacoMonaco Monaco 000000000000002.00000000002    000000000000000.00100000000.001 000000000033000.000000000033,000    000000000000000.10000000000.1 000000000000100.0000000000100 000000000000100.0000000000100 8th 2
AustriaAustria Austria 000000000054600.000000000054,600    000000000000029.000000000029 000000004010000.00000000004,010,000    000000000000029.400000000029.4 000000000000065.000000000065 000000000000050.000000000050 1 7th
SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland 000000000024850.000000000024,850    000000000000013.000000000013 000000001740000.00000000001,740,000    000000000000012.800000000012.8 000000000000060.000000000060 000000000000023.000000000023 3 4th
SloveniaSlovenia Slovenia 000000000006800.00000000006,800    000000000000003.50000000003.5 000000000640000.0000000000640,000    000000000000004.70000000004.7 000000000000040.000000000040 000000000000032.000000000032 6th 8th
total 000000000190900.0000000000190,900 ∗  000000000000100.0000000000100 000000013600000.000000000013,600,000 ∗∗ 100.0 - - - -
Sources: EURAC / Agralp,; Reference data: values ​​of the treaty area of ​​the Alpine Convention, as of April 10, 2008


  • Alpine area in km²: Area of ​​the state in the Alps
  • Alpine area in%: Share of the total area of ​​the Alps
  • Alpine population: number of inhabitants who live in the Alps ∗∗
  • Alpine population in%: Share of the total population of the Alps
  • Share of the Alps in the total state - Area: Share of the state territory that is in the Alps
  • Share of the Alps as a whole - Population: Share of the population living in the Alps (this value is smaller than the share of the Alps by area, which indicates the lower settlement density in the Alps)
  • Order N / S: Order from north to south, starting at the edge of the Alps
  • Order W / O: Order from west to east, starting at the edge of the Alps
Values ​​rounded
∗∗Total according to EURAC / Agralp, total of the values ​​14,362,000; 5% difference
In most countries, the Alpine region according to AK and local usage are the same, deviating:
(1) Recreational landscape in the Alps according to the Bavarian State Development Program (LEP) or Alpine Plan : 5,400 km², 3%
(2) The divisions of the Alps give the French Alpine region in general significantly larger than the Alpine Convention (borders up to Valance, Marseille), other sources give 35,000 km²


  • Willy Erlwein: Transnational cooperation in the Alpine region: illustrated using the example of the Working Group of the Alpine Countries (ARGEALP) (= tuduv studies / series social sciences , volume 20), tuduv, Munich 1981, ISBN 3-88073-112-8 (dissertation University of Munich 1980, VI, 268 pages, cardboard, 21 cm).
  • Reiner Sörries: The alpine fasting cloths: forgotten testimonies of popular piety , Carinthia University Press, Klagenfurt 1988, ISBN 3-85378-232-9 (Habilitation University Erlangen / Nuremberg 1986, 365 pages, numerous illustrations (some in color), 30 cm).
  • Reinhard Stauber : The central state at its borders: administrative integration, change of rule and political culture in the southern Alpine region 1750 - 1820 (= series of publications of the Historical Commission at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences , Volume 64), Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, Göttingen 2001, ISBN 3-525 -36057-6 (Habilitation University of Munich 1998, 584 pages, 24 cm).
  • Simon Meißner: Potentials for a sustainable use of water in the Alps: using the example of the Alpine countries Germany, Austria and Switzerland as well as selected Alpine regions (= Tellus facta , number 7), Institute for Geography, Chair for Social and Economic Geography, Augsburg 2004, ISBN 3-923273-57-6 (Dissertation University of Augsburg 2004, 500 pages, illustrations, graphic representations, cardboard, 21 cm).
  • Helmut Seebach : The Swiss Reformation - a transnational cultural movement: Traditional hikes from the Alps - Scandinavia, for the reorientation of European ethnology , Bachtelstelz Verlag, Mainz-Gonzenheim 2017, ISBN 978-3-924115-40-1 .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The Alps as a region of Europe. ( Memento of March 25, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) International Alpine Protection Commission CIPRA, January 17, 2007
  2. ^ National Alpine Convention Areas. ( Memento from October 22, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) In:
  3. ^ Alpen-Länder ( Memento from July 26, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) In:
  4. Area of ​​the Alps: 220,000 km² according to the entry on Alps in the Austria Forum  (in the AEIOU Austria Lexicon ), 190,912 km² according to CIPRA / Alpine Convention