Canton of Uri

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Canton of Uri
coat of arms
coat of arms
Canton of the Swiss Confederation
Abbreviation / license plate : UR
Official language : German
Main town : Altdorf
Accession to the federal government : 1291
Area : 1076.54  km²
Height range : 429–3629 m above sea level M.
Residents: 36,433 (December 31, 2018)
Population density : 34 inhabitants per km²
Proportion of foreigners :
(residents without citizenship )
11.5% (December 31, 2015)
Unemployment rate : 1.2% (December 31, 2015)
Location of the canton in Switzerland
Location of the canton in Switzerland
Map of the canton
Map of the canton
Municipalities of the canton
Municipalities of the canton

Uri ( abbreviation UR ; Urnerdeutsch [ (fo) ˈʉːɾi ], French , Italian and Rhaeto-Romanic Uri ? / I , Middle Latin Uronia / Urania ) is a canton in German-speaking Switzerland and belongs to the greater region of Central Switzerland ( Central Switzerland). The main town and at the same time the most populous place is Altdorf . Audio file / audio sample


The canton of Uri is located in central Switzerland between Lake Lucerne in the north and the Gotthard Pass in the south. Uri is one of the three original cantons (founding members) of the Swiss Confederation . The other two are Schwyz and Unterwalden . Due to the topography with a proportion of mountainous, unproductive areas of around 56 percent, three quarters of the inhabitants live in the lowest part of the canton, in the Reuss plain .

The extent of Uri essentially corresponds to the catchment area of ​​the upper reaches of the Reuss and the southern Lake Lucerne ( Urnersee ), whose banks from Seelisberg to Sisikon belong to the canton. In addition, Uri also includes the upper reaches of the Engelberger Aa and the Urnerboden .

Uri borders the cantons of Graubünden (south-east), Ticino (south), Valais (south-west), Bern (west), Obwalden (west), Nidwalden (west), Schwyz (north) and Glarus (north-east).

The canton consists of 20 independent political communities.

The canton ranks 11th in terms of area and 25th in terms of population among the 26 Swiss cantons.


The inhabitants of the canton are called Urner . As of December 31, 2018, the population of the canton of Uri was 36,433. The population density of 34 inhabitants per square kilometer is far below the Swiss average (207 inhabitants per square kilometer). The proportion of foreigners (registered residents without Swiss citizenship ) was 11.5 percent on December 31, 2015, while 24.6 percent were registered nationwide. As of December 31, 2015, the unemployment rate was 1.2 percent compared to 3.7 percent at the federal level.


The official language in the canton of Uri is German . Spoken in the canton of Uri German belongs to the maximum Alemannische on.

In 2012, 94.1 percent of the population stated German as their main language. Information on French , Italian , Romansh and English was not given.

Religions - denominations

The Roman Catholic denomination dominates in the canton of Uri . The Roman Catholic regional church has 23 parishes and 24 parishes. In 2017, 80.6 percent of the population professed to be Roman Catholic.

The Protestant-Reformed denomination gained a foothold during the construction of the Gotthard Railway in the canton of Uri. The Evangelical Reformed Regional Church of Uri , which has been independently organized since 2003, is organized in three parishes. In 2017, 4.7 percent of the population were members of the Evangelical Reformed Church.

Both regional churches are corporations under cantonal public law.

Constitution and Politics

The cantonal constitution dates from 1984 (with changes).

legislative branch

The legislative body ( legislature ) is the Urner District Administrator . It has 64 members. The term of office is four years. The constituencies form the twenty municipalities. While in those municipalities to which three or more seats are entitled, the election is based on proportional representation, in the smaller municipalities the district administrators are elected according to the majority system. As a rule, the Uri District Administrator is convened for six two-day sessions per year. The meetings are open to the public and take place in the administrative hall of the Uri town hall.

Constitutional and legislative changes are subject to a referendum. 300 eligible voters can take a referendum against district ordinances and thus lead them to the referendum. By means of a popular initiative, 600 eligible voters can also propose the enactment, amendment or repeal of constitutional, legal or ordinance provisions, which are then to be submitted to the referendum. The recall of an authority can also be requested by means of a popular initiative.

Share of voters in percent
Uri District Administrator from March 8, 2020
Turnout: 44.90%
Gains and losses
compared to 2016
 % p
Distribution of seats after the elections on March 8, 2020
Political party 1996 2 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016 Distribution of seats in 2020
Social Democratic Party of Switzerland (SP)
and Green Party of Switzerland (GPS)
11 10 10 10 11 9
6th 23 16 13 
A total of 64 seats
  • GPS : 2
  • SP : 6
  • Independent: 2
  • CVP : 23
  • FDP : 16
  • SVP : 13
  • vacant: 2
Christian Democratic People's Party (CVP) 35 30th 29 24 23 22nd
FDP.The Liberals (FDP) 17th 20th 16 12 15th 18th
Swiss People's Party (SVP) 1 00 04th 09 18th 15th 15th
1 Established on December 5, 1998
2 1 independent

Federal Assembly: Like every full canton, Uri sends two members to the Council of States and, due to its number of inhabitants, one representative to the National Council .


Fully withdrawing authority ( executive ) is the seven-member Executive Council , which according to direct popular majority vote for four years is chosen. The chairperson is called Landammann , his or her deputy state governor and is elected for a two-year term.

Members of the Uri Government Council May 2020 to May 2024
Government Council Official title Political party Directorate
Urban Camenzind Landammann CVP Department of Economics
Urs Janett Provincial governor FDP Finance Directorate
Christian Arnold Government Council SVP Health, Social and Environmental Directorate
Daniel Furrer Government Council CVP Justice Directorate
Beat Jörg Government Council CVP Education and Culture Directorate
Dimitri Moretti Government Council SP Security Directorate
Roger Nager Government Council FDP Building Director


In the first instance, the canton of Uri is divided into two judicial districts: the judicial district Uri with the district court Uri and the judicial district Ursern with the district court Ursern. The Uri Regional Court consists of ten, that of Ursern has seven members. The Regional Court of Uri meets in the courthouse in Altdorf, the Regional Court of Ursern in the Urschner Town Hall in Andermatt.

The second instance and administrative court is the Uri Higher Court, which meets in the courthouse in Altdorf. It consists of thirteen members and is divided into the civil, criminal and administrative departments.

All judges in the canton of Uri are directly elected by the people.


In 2011, the gross domestic product (GDP) per inhabitant was 51,768 Swiss francs . In 2012, 18,078 employees were counted in the canton of Uri, of which 1,670 were in the primary (primary production) , 5,733 in the secondary (industry) and 10,675 in the tertiary sector (services) . There were 2,744 workplaces in the canton in 2012 (645 of them in the primary, 406 in the secondary and 1,693 in the tertiary sector). The unemployment rate as of December 31, 2015 was 1.2 percent, compared to 3.7 percent at the federal level.

Since the canton of Uri has to bear high costs for the infrastructure (motorway, Gotthard tunnel, five pass roads, etc.), it is dependent on financial support from other cantons, which partly finance these costs. Uri benefits most from financial equalization .

Economic development in the canton of Uri

The canton does not collect any cantonal gross domestic product , so the assessment is often made indirectly. It is a synthetic indicator based on the following parameters: reported vacancies, new vehicle registrations, imports, exports, overnight stays as well as work in hand and incoming orders in the construction industry. Economic activity in the canton had developed asynchronously to that in Switzerland since around mid-2000.


Since 2006, taxes for legal and natural persons have been reduced in several steps. A " flat rate tax " was introduced. The most important changes to the legal revision can be found in the following table:

Measure old law new law
Child deduction 4,000 CHF 6,100 CHF
Childcare allowance Max. 2,000 CHF Max. 80,000 CHF
Support deduction 2,000 CHF 3,000 CHF
Corporate income tax rate up to 22% 11%
Ordinary capital tax rate (depending on the municipality) 4.25 ‰ Max. 2.40 ‰
Capital tax rate for holding / domiciliary companies 0.5 ‰ 0.01 ‰
Economic double burden on dividends
and investments (income and assets)
no mitigation 60% mitigation
Wealth tax rate (depending on the municipality) Max. 7.2 ‰ Max. 5.7 ‰
Lump-sum benefits from pension plans (married tariff) Max. 9.2% Max. 5%


Landscape near the Sunniggrathütte

From Lake Lucerne to the alpine peaks in the Gotthard region, more gentle tourism has been implemented in Uri. According to the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) in 2006, the canton of Uri had a total of around 100 hotels that generate 220,000 overnight stays (2005) every year. In addition, the canton has a high density of cable cars, around 39 mountain railways lead to the mountains.

The Egyptian investor Samih Sawiris has been developing the large Andermatt Swiss Alps tourist resort near Andermatt since 2011 , which will consist of many hotels, holiday apartments and an 18-hole golf course. Andermatt is easy to reach in the middle between Zurich and Milan , only a few minutes by car from the Göschenen motorway exit. Andermatt is also the home of the Olympic and world champion Bernhard Russi .


Since one of the most important Alpine crossings runs through the canton of Uri, the canton has had a high volume of traffic for centuries, with all its advantages and disadvantages. The Gotthard Pass as the shortest north-south crossing in the Alps has been of great importance to people on both sides of the Alpine arc , especially since the Schöllenen Gorge was expanded from around 1220 and the first Devil's Bridge was built in 1230. The Gotthard railway tunnel was opened in 1882 . The Gotthard road tunnel followed in 1980 . In December 2016, the world's longest railway tunnel, at around 57 kilometers, was put into operation. The tunnel is part of the New Railway Alpine Transversal (NEAT). In 2019, the degree of motorization (passenger cars per 1000 inhabitants) was 554.


School time begins with a two-year kindergarten , one year of which is compulsory. Then you enter the six-year primary school .

This is followed by the transfer to the upper level or grammar school . The upper level lasts three years and completes compulsory schooling. In some municipalities there is an integrated upper level in which the pupils can attend different levels in different subjects (A and B). In other municipalities there are secondary and real classes .

The compulsory schooling now amounts to a total of ten years and usually comprises one year of kindergarten, six years of primary school and three years of upper school or the first three years of grammar school .

At the grammar school, the Uri Cantonal Middle School in Altdorf, which lasts six years (seventh to twelfth school year), a federally recognized Matura certificate can be obtained. To get to the grammar school, the consent of the teacher of the sixth primary class is sufficient. It is also possible to transfer from the upper level to the grammar school with good performance.

The canton of Uri has no university or technical colleges .


Borrowing from the Uri district dated December 31, 1879

The name of today's canton Uri is in its Latin form since the 8th / 9th. Century attested; the oldest surviving original document, which mentions the pagellum uroniae , comes from the year 853. From the 13th century the form Ure (n) is documented, which soon appears in German-language documents, at the latest since the early 16th century the current one Form Uri . The name, which initially applies to the area around Altdorf , may be derived from the Latin ora / orum ‹Rand› or the Indo-European root outer ‹water, rain, river› with an n -containing suffix , which is probably still in that Affiliation adjective Urner is visible. In both cases, the location on the banks of the Reuss or the Urnersee would be the motif for the naming.

Administrative division

Political communities

Municipalities of the Canton of Uri

Uri knows resident communities ( political communities ), parishes as well as the corporation citizen communities Uri and Ursern , which are the largest landowners in the canton. The community is responsible for local self-government.

The following lists municipalities with more than 1,500 inhabitants as of December 31, 2018. In these eight municipalities, district administrators are elected according to the proportional procedure, in all others according to the majority procedure.

Political community Residents
Altdorf 9401
Schattdorf 5424
Bürglen 3977
Erstfeld 3788
Silenen 1949
Flüelen 1972
Seedorf 1858
Attinghausen 1725


The canton of Uri has no division into districts. However, the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) lists the entire canton as one district under FSO no. : 0400. Since Uri does not know any districts, the two corporations Uri (Seelisberg to Göschenen with 17 communities) and Ursern (Andermatt, Hospental and Realp) are much more important. Practically the entire area (water, soil, Alps, etc.) belongs to the corporations. The areas of the two judicial districts are identical to the areas of the two corporations.

Web links

Further content in the
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Individual evidence

  1. Balance of the permanent resident population by canton, definitive annual results, 2018. Federal Statistical Office (FSO), August 27, 2019, accessed on September 18, 2019 (definitive annual results).
  2. Structure of the permanent resident population by cantons. Federal Statistical Office (FSO), August 26, 2016, accessed on May 31, 2017 .
  3. ^ The situation on the job market in December 2015. (PDF; 807 kB) State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), January 8, 2016, p. 9 , archived from the original on January 12, 2016 ; accessed on January 13, 2016 .
  4. ^ Albert Hug, Viktor Weibel: Urner Namenbuch. The place and field names of the canton Uri. Altdorf 1990, Volume 3, p. 768 and Uri under give as phonetic transcription : fọ ṳ̄́ri . For the quality of the emphasized vowel, however, compare the Linguistic Atlas of German-speaking Switzerland , Volume I, Map 106, its introductory volume A, p. 69, written by Rudolf Hotzenköcherle , and Walter Clauss : Die Mundart von Uri. Phonology and inflection theory. Frauenfeld 1929, p. 16 ff. According to Felix Aschwanden, the people of Uri themselves write: Urner Dialect Dictionary , Altdorf 1982, p. 500, Üüri .
  5. Balance of the permanent resident population by canton, definitive annual results, 2018. Federal Statistical Office (FSO), August 27, 2019, accessed on September 18, 2019 (definitive annual results).
  6. Structure of the permanent resident population by cantons. Federal Statistical Office (FSO), August 26, 2016, accessed on May 31, 2017 .
  7. a b The situation on the labor market in December 2015. (PDF; 807 kB) State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), January 8, 2016, p. 9 , archived from the original on January 12, 2016 ; accessed on January 13, 2016 .
  8. a b key figures. Uri. Federal Statistical Office (FSO), archived from the original on July 3, 2015 ; Retrieved June 28, 2015 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  9. a b SPI St. Gallen: Church membership in the Roman Catholic and Evangelical Reformed Church by cantons (2017) | Table 1.4. 2018, accessed February 22, 2019 .
  10. ^ Constitution of the Canton of Uri
  11. ^ Canton Uri: Portrait of the District Administrator ( Memento from August 29, 2006 in the Internet Archive )
  12. ^ Government Council. Retrieved June 28, 2020 (Swiss Standard German).
  13. ^ Canton Uri: Portrait of the judicial authorities ( Memento from September 15, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  14. Thomas Brunner: Strong cantons pay less for financial equalization. Swiss Radio and Television (SRF), March 14, 2014, accessed on June 28, 2015 .
  15. Michael Schoenenberger: Who voted in the interests of your own canton? Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ), March 10, 2015, accessed on June 28, 2015 .
  16. Tax administration of the Canton of Uri - media releases
  17. Uri cable car guide
  18. ^ Andermatt Swiss Alps , website of the tourist resort
  20. the EGSM Educatis Graduate School of Management website
  21. ^ Albert Hug, Viktor Weibel: Urner Namenbuch. The place and field names of the canton Uri. Altdorf 1990, Volume 3, p. 768 ff. Or Uri under
  22. Permanent and non-permanent resident population by year, canton, district, municipality, population type and gender (permanent resident population). In: bfs. . Federal Statistical Office (FSO), August 31, 2019, accessed on December 22, 2019 .

Coordinates: 46 ° 45 '  N , 8 ° 39'  E ; CH1903:  692 558  /  178360