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Visp, Switzerland

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Visp, Switzerland

For other uses, see VISP.
Country Switzerland
Canton Valais
District Visp
46°16′N 7°52′E / 46.267°N 7.867°E / 46.267; 7.867Coordinates: 46°16′N 7°52′E / 46.267°N 7.867°E / 46.267; 7.867

Population 7,281 (Dec 2012)[1]
- Density 551 /km2 (1,426 /sq mi)
Area [" must be a number">convert: invalid number]]] ([" must be a number">convert: invalid number]]])Template:Swiss area data
Elevation 658 m (2,159 ft)
Postal code 3930
SFOS number 6297
Mayor Niklaus Furger
Surrounded by Baltschieder, Brig-Glis, Bürchen, Lalden, Raron, Visperterminen, Zeneggen
Website SFSO statistics

Visp (French Viège) is the capital of the district of Visp in the canton of Valais in Switzerland.


Visp has an area, as of 2011, of 13.2 square kilometers (5.1 sq mi). Of this area, 17.0% is used for agricultural purposes, while 59.7% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 19.5% is settled (buildings or roads) and 3.9% is unproductive land.[2]

The proposed merger of the municipalities of Eggerberg, Ausserberg, Bürchen, Baltschieder, Visp and Visperterminen was rejected by the residents.[3]

The two valleys are Mattertal and Saastal. It borders Brig-Glis.

Coat of arms

The blazon of the municipal coat of arms is Per pale Argent and Gules, two Lions rampant reguardant counterchanged.[4]


Visp has a population (as of December 2012) of 7,281.[1] As of 2008, 19.3% of the population are resident foreign nationals.[5] Over the last 10 years (2000–2010 ) the population has changed at a rate of 5.8%. It has changed at a rate of 4.5% due to migration and at a rate of 1.1% due to births and deaths.[2]

Most of the population (as of 2000) speaks German (5,778 or 88.2%) as their first language, Serbo-Croatian is the second most common (192 or 2.9%) and Albanian is the third (139 or 2.1%). There are 107 people who speak French, 111 people who speak Italian and 3 people who speak Romansh.[6]

As of 2008, the population was 49.5% male and 50.5% female. The population was made up of 2,671 Swiss men (39.0% of the population) and 713 (10.4%) non-Swiss men. There were 2,808 Swiss women (41.0%) and 650 (9.5%) non-Swiss women.[7] Of the population in the municipality, 2,556 or about 39.0% were born in Visp and lived there in 2000. There were 2,138 or 32.6% who were born in the same canton, while 588 or 9.0% were born somewhere else in Switzerland, and 1,033 or 15.8% were born outside of Switzerland.[6]

As of 2000, children and teenagers (0–19 years old) make up 23.4% of the population, while adults (20–64 years old) make up 61.6% and seniors (over 64 years old) make up 15%.[2]

As of 2000, there were 2,730 people who were single and never married in the municipality. There were 3,191 married individuals, 378 widows or widowers and 251 individuals who are divorced.[6]

As of 2000, there were 2,536 private households in the municipality, and an average of 2.4 persons per household.[2] There were 721 households that consist of only one person and 171 households with five or more people. In 2000, a total of 2,349 apartments (87.9% of the total) were permanently occupied, while 257 apartments (9.6%) were seasonally occupied and 66 apartments (2.5%) were empty.[8] As of 2009, the construction rate of new housing units was 5.4 new units per 1000 residents.[2]

As of 2003 the average price to rent an average apartment in Visp was 923.95 Swiss francs (CHF) per month (US$740, £420, €590 approx. exchange rate from 2003). The average rate for a one room apartment was 436.43 CHF (US$350, £200, €280), a two room apartment was about 610.65 CHF (US$490, £270, €390), a three room apartment was about 833.36 CHF (US$670, £380, €530) and a six or more room apartment cost an average of 936.90 CHF (US$750, £420, €600). The average apartment price in Visp was 82.8% of the national average of 1116 CHF.[9] The vacancy rate for the municipality, in 2010, was 0.95%.[2]

The historical population is given in the following chart:[10] Colors=

 id:lightgrey value:gray(0.9)
 id:darkgrey  value:gray(0.8)

ImageSize = width:960 height:210 PlotArea = height:150 left:100 bottom:50 right:100 AlignBars = justify DateFormat = x.y Period = from:0 till:6600 TimeAxis = orientation:vertical AlignBars = justify ScaleMajor = gridcolor:darkgrey increment:1300 start:0 ScaleMinor = gridcolor:lightgrey increment:260 start:0 PlotData=

 color:yellowgreen width:40   mark:(line,white) align:center
 bar:1850 from:start till:702 text:"702"
 bar:1860 from:start till:832 text:"832"
 bar:1870 from:start till:911 text:"911"
 bar:1880 from:start till:989 text:"989"
 bar:1888 from:start till:1014 text:"1,014"
 bar:1900 from:start till:1147 text:"1,147"
 bar:1910 from:start till:1626 text:"1,626"
 bar:1920 from:start till:1902 text:"1,902"
 bar:1930 from:start till:2321 text:"2,321"
 bar:1941 from:start till:2664 text:"2,664"
 bar:1950 from:start till:3175 text:"3,175"
 bar:1960 from:start till:4092 text:"4,092"
 bar:1970 from:start till:5698 text:"5,698"
 bar:1980 from:start till:6383 text:"6,383"
 bar:1990 from:start till:6234 text:"6,234"
 bar:2000 from:start till:6550 text:"6,550"


The entire small city of Visp is designated as part of the Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites[11]


In the 2007 federal election the most popular party was the CVP which received 62.91% of the vote. The next three most popular parties were the SP (16.23%), the SVP (14.67%) and the FDP (3.81%). In the federal election, a total of 2,732 votes were cast, and the voter turnout was 60.1%.[12]

In the 2009 Conseil d'Etat/Staatsrat election a total of 2,235 votes were cast, of which 239 or about 10.7% were invalid. The voter participation was 49.3%, which is much less than the cantonal average of 54.67%.[13] In the 2007 Swiss Council of States election election a total of 2,731 votes were cast, of which 74 or about 2.7% were invalid. The voter participation was 60.6%, which is similar to the cantonal average of 59.88%.[14]


The major employer in the town is the chemical company, LONZA AG, which employs about 2,550 people.[15] Visp is the economic center of the region and draws workers from many surrounding towns and even from Italy. This leads to a unique situation where there are more jobs in Visp than the total population (7,700 positions for a population of about 6,700).[16]

As of 2010, Visp had an unemployment rate of 2.2%. As of 2008, there were 63 people employed in the primary economic sector and about 21 businesses involved in this sector. 4,288 people were employed in the secondary sector and there were 93 businesses in this sector. 3,901 people were employed in the tertiary sector, with 420 businesses in this sector.[2] There were 3,178 residents of the municipality who were employed in some capacity, of which females made up 40.4% of the workforce.

In 2008 the total number of full-time equivalent jobs was 7,188. The number of jobs in the primary sector was 34, all of which were in agriculture. The number of jobs in the secondary sector was 4,110 of which 3,401 or (82.7%) were in manufacturing and 608 (14.8%) were in construction. The number of jobs in the tertiary sector was 3,044. In the tertiary sector; 1,002 or 32.9% were in wholesale or retail sales or the repair of motor vehicles, 141 or 4.6% were in the movement and storage of goods, 181 or 5.9% were in a hotel or restaurant, 45 or 1.5% were in the information industry, 168 or 5.5% were the insurance or financial industry, 275 or 9.0% were technical professionals or scientists, 175 or 5.7% were in education and 788 or 25.9% were in health care.[17]

In 2000, there were 5,635 workers who commuted into the municipality and 881 workers who commuted away. The municipality is a net importer of workers, with about 6.4 workers entering the municipality for every one leaving. About 3.2% of the workforce coming into Visp are coming from outside Switzerland.[18] Of the working population, 11.9% used public transportation to get to work, and 39.5% used a private car.[2]


From the 2000 census, 5,390 or 82.3% were Roman Catholic, while 306 or 4.7% belonged to the Swiss Reformed Church. Of the rest of the population, there were 174 members of an Orthodox church (or about 2.66% of the population), there were 3 individuals (or about 0.05% of the population) who belonged to the Christian Catholic Church, and there were 104 individuals (or about 1.59% of the population) who belonged to another Christian church. There was 1 individual who was Jewish, and 250 (or about 3.82% of the population) who were Islamic. There were 10 individuals who were Buddhist and 3 individuals who were Hindu. 88 (or about 1.34% of the population) belonged to no church, are agnostic or atheist, and 268 individuals (or about 4.09% of the population) did not answer the question.[6]


In Visp about 2,401 or (36.7%) of the population have completed non-mandatory upper secondary education, and 715 or (10.9%) have completed additional higher education (either university or a Fachhochschule). Of the 715 who completed tertiary schooling, 64.9% were Swiss men, 18.0% were Swiss women, 11.3% were non-Swiss men and 5.7% were non-Swiss women.[6]

During the 2010-2011 school year there were a total of 910 students in the Visp school system. The education system in the Canton of Valais allows young children to attend one year of non-obligatory Kindergarten.[19] During that school year, there 7 kindergarten classes (KG1 or KG2) and 140 kindergarten students. The canton's school system requires students to attend six years of primary school. In Visp there were a total of 28 classes and 513 students in the primary school. The secondary school program consists of three lower, obligatory years of schooling (orientation classes), followed by three to five years of optional, advanced schools. There were 397 lower secondary students who attended school in Visp.[20] All the upper secondary students attended school in another municipality.

As of 2000, there were 339 students in Visp who came from another municipality, while 250 residents attended schools outside the municipality.[18]

Visp is home to the Mediathek library. The library has (as of 2008) 12,438 books or other media, and loaned out 36,395 items in the same year. It was open a total of 149 days with average of 12 hours per week during that year.[21]


Visp railway station is a junction station, with a modern station building completed in 2007. It is served by two standard gauge lines (with services operated by Swiss Federal Railways) and a metre gauge line (with services operated by the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn).

The railway and bus stations in Visp and Brig are starting points for many outdoor activities, trips, and tours in the surrounding mountain resorts Zermatt and Saas-Fee, lying at the foot of almost all the highest peaks in the Alps, such as Matterhorn, Monte Rosa, Dom and Weisshorn.


According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Visp has a Tundra climate, abbreviated "ET" on climate maps.[22]

Climate data for Visp
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 2
Daily mean °C (°F) −1.7
Average low °C (°F) −5.7
Precipitation mm (inches) 50
Avg. precipitation days 6.7 6.4 6.9 5.1 7 6.6 6.8 7.6 5.3 6 7.2 7.3 78.9
Source: MeteoSchweiz[23]


External links

  • Official website (German)
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