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Worsening of regional differences in Swiss mountain regions

Switzerland's rural areas and mountain regions are continuing to struggle with depopulation and unemployment. By contrast large regions and central areas are less affected by this negative trend, which has now been ongoing for several years.
These are the findings of the report Das Schweizer Berggebiet 2004 - Fakten und Zahlen [Swiss Mountain Regions 2004 - Facts and Figures] of the Swiss Working Group for Mountain Regions (SAB), which features current statistics, trends and scenarios in the Swiss mountain regions. According to the report areas particularly affected include the inner alpine region (upper Valais, the Bernese Oberland, Uri and Grisons), the Jura valleys and the inner Napfgebiet, with clearly negative structural changes; by contrast there has been a slight growth in the economy and in the population figures in regions along the western and central northern edge of the Alps and in the Ticino to the south.
The causes are complex: geographic location, structural change and political and economic outline conditions all have a crucial influence on the way in which mountain regions develop. Under the New Regional Policy (NRP) the SAB hopes that mountain regions will be promoted in a more targeted way.
Report and source: SAB Press Release No. 997, 05.07.2004 www.sab.ch (de/fr)
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