Contents 1 History 2 Structure and responsibilities 3 Size and designations 3.1 List of municipalities by population(2011-14) 4 Lists of municipalities by canton 5 Other local subdivisions and entities 6 See also 7 Notes and references 8 External links

History[edit] The beginnings of the modern municipality system date back to the Helvetic Republic. Under the Old Swiss Confederacy, citizenship was granted by each town and village to only residents. These citizens enjoyed access to community property and in some cases additional protection under the law. Additionally, the urban towns and the rural villages had differing rights and laws. The creation of a uniform Swiss citizenship, which applied equally for citizens of the old towns and their tenants and servants, led to conflict. The wealthier villagers and urban citizens held rights to forests, common land and other municipal property which they did not want to share with the "new citizens", who were generally poor. The compromise solution, which was written into the municipal laws of the Helvetic Republic, is still valid today. Two politically separate but often geographically similar organizations were created. The first, the so-called municipality, was a political community formed by election and its voting body consists of all resident citizens. However, the community land and property remained with the former local citizens who were gathered together into the Bürgergemeinde/bourgeoisie. During the Mediation era (1803–1814), and especially during the Restoration era (1814–1830), many of the gains toward uniform citizenship were lost. Many political municipalities were abolished and limits were placed on the exercise of political rights for everyone except the members of the Bürgergemeinde. In the Regeneration era (1830–1848), the liberal revolutions of the common people helped to restore some rights again in a few cantons. In other cantons, the Bürgergemeinden were able to maintain power as political communities. In the city of Zurich it was not until the Municipal Act of 1866 that the political municipality came back into existence.[2] The relationship between the political municipality and the Bürgergemeinde was often dominated by the latter's ownership of community property. Often the administration and profit from the property were totally held by the Bürgergemeinden, leaving the political municipality dependent on the Bürgergemeinde for money and use of the property. It was not until the political municipality acquired rights over property that served the public (such as schools, fire stations, etc.) and taxes, that they obtained full independence. For example, in the city of Bern, it was not until after the property division of 1852 that the political municipality had the right to levy taxes.[2] It was not until the Federal Constitution of 1874 that all Swiss citizens were granted equal political rights on local and Federal levels. This revised constitution finally removed all the political voting and electoral body rights from the Bürgergemeinde. In the cities, the percentage of members in the Bürgergemeinde in the population was reduced as a result of increasing emigration to the cities. This led to the Bürgergemeinde losing its former importance to a large extent. However, the Bürgergemeinde has remained, and it includes all individuals who are citizens of the Bürgergemeinde, usually by having inherited the Bürgerrecht (citizenship), regardless of where they were born or where they may currently live. Instead of the place of birth, Swiss legal documents, e.g. passports, contain the Bürgerort (place of citizenship). The Bürgergemeinde also often holds and administers the common property in the village for the members of the community.[2]

Structure and responsibilities[edit] Each canton determines the powers and responsibilities of its municipalities. These may include providing local government services such as education, medical and social services, public transportation, and tax collection. The degree of centralization varies from one canton to another. The federal constitution protects the autonomy of municipalities within the framework set out by cantonal law. Municipalities are generally governed by an executive council headed by a president or mayor. Legislative authority is exercised by a town meeting of all citizens, or by a municipal parliament, depending on the size of the municipality, and on cantonal and municipal law. In some cantons, foreigners who have lived for a certain time in Switzerland are also allowed to participate in municipal politics. As at the cantonal and federal level, citizens enjoy political rights, including direct democratic ones, in their municipality. Municipalities are financed through direct taxes (such as income tax), with rates varying more or less within a framework set by the canton (see Taxation in Switzerland). As among the cantons, there is a tax transfer among the communes to balance various levels of tax income.

Size and designations[edit] Switzerland has a relatively high number of small municipalities, with a population of 1,000 or less, especially in rural areas. Because of the increasing difficulty in providing professional government services and in finding volunteers for political offices in small municipalities, the cantons tend to encourage voluntary mergers of municipalities. This led to the number of municipalities dropping by 362 between the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2018.[1] Some municipalities designate themselves as "city" (ville or Stadt) or as "village" (Dorf). These designations result from tradition or local preference – for example, several small municipalities designated as cities held city rights in medieval times – and normally do not impact the legal or political rights or obligations of the municipalities under cantonal or federal law. Municipalities are numbered by the Swiss Federal Office for Statistics (see Community Identification Number#Switzerland). One or more postal codes (PLZ/NPA) can by assigned to a municipality or shared with other municipalities. Population No. of municipalities in 2004 (%)[3] >20,000 30 (1.1%) 10,000–19,999 89 (3.2%) 5000–9999 180 (6.6%) 1000–4999 1025 (37.4%) 500–999 555 (20.3%) <500 861 (31.4%) Total 2740 (100%) List of municipalities by population(2011-14)[edit] Between 2011 and 2014 six of the smallest municipalities merged into others as part of the effort to eliminate the smallest communities. Of the remaining four from 2011, two merged into other municipalities in 2016. Largest municipalities (2011)[4] Rank City Canton Pop. 1 Zürich Zürich 376,990 2 Geneva Geneva 188,234 3 Basel Basel-City 164,516 4 Lausanne Vaud 129,383 5 Bern Bern 125,681 6 Winterthur Zürich 103,075 7 Lucerne Lucerne 78,093 8 St. Gallen St. Gallen 73,505 9 Lugano Ticino 55,151 10 Biel/Bienne Bern 51,635 Smallest municipalities (2011)[4] Rank City Canton Pop. 1 Corippo Ticino 12 2 Martisberg Valais 19 3 Mulegns Graubünden 29 4 St. Martin Graubünden 31 5 Bister Valais 33 6 Pigniu Graubünden 33 7 Selma Graubünden 33 8 Gresso Ticino 34 9 Cauco Graubünden 35 10 Monible Bern 37 Largest municipalities (2014)[5] Rank City Canton Pop. 1 Zürich Zürich 391,359 2 Geneva Geneva 194,565 3 Basel Basel-City 168,620 4 Lausanne Vaud 133,897 5 Bern Bern 130,015 6 Winterthur Zürich 106,778 7 Lucerne Lucerne 81,057 8 St. Gallen St. Gallen 75,310 9 Lugano Ticino 63,668 10 Biel/Bienne Bern 53,667 Smallest municipalities (2014)[5] Rank City Canton Pop. 1 Corippo Ticino 13 2 Mulegns[1] Graubünden 25 3 Marmorera[1] Graubünden 31 4 Kammersrohr Solothurn 33 5 Bister Valais 33 6 Schelten Bern 40 7 Lohn (GR) Graubünden 41 8 Gresso[2] Ticino 41 9 Rebévelier Bern 44 10 Berken Bern 44 ^ Absorbed into Surses in 2016 ^ Absorbed into Onsernone in 2016

Lists of municipalities by canton[edit] See also: List of cities in Switzerland Aargau: Einwohnergemeinden Appenzell I.R.: Bezirke Appenzell A.R.: Einwohnergemeinden Basel-City: Einwohnergemeinden Basel-Country: Einwohnergemeinden Bern: Einwohnergemeinden or communes municipales Fribourg: communes or Gemeinden Geneva: communes Glarus: Ortsgemeinden Grisons: politische Gemeinden, Vischnancas politicas or comuni politici Jura: communes Lucerne: Einwohnergemeinden Neuchâtel: communes Nidwalden: Gemeinden Obwalden: Einwohnergemeinden Schaffhausen: Einwohnergemeinden Schwyz: Gemeinden Solothurn: Einwohnergemeinden St. Gallen: Politische Gemeinden Thurgau: politische Gemeinden Ticino: comuni politici Uri: Einwohnergemeinde Valais: communes municipales or Einwohnergemeinden Vaud: communes Zug: Einwohnergemeinde Zürich: Politische Gemeinden See cantons of Switzerland for the number of municipalities per canton.

Other local subdivisions and entities[edit] In addition to the municipalities as basic territorial political subdivisions, a number of other local subdivisions exist in several cantons. These include: Bürgergemeinde (also: Burgergemeinde, Ortsgemeinde, Ortsbürgergemeinde, Tagwen, bourgeoisie, commune bourgeoise, vischnanca burgaisa), a statutory corporation that includes everyone who is a citizen of a commune and has the Heimatrecht (home right) in that commune regardless of where they may currently live. Until the 19th Century this Heimatrecht included rights to use the commons, which were administered by the Bürgergemeinde. Modernly, some Bürgergemeinden may still control common property, but the Heimatrecht and associated Heimatort is used just as place of birth in other countries. Gemischte Gemeinde (mixed communes), found in the Canton of Jura and portions of the Canton of Bern, a combination of a Bürgergemeinde and a political commune. Korporationsgemeinde, a legally recognized cooperative in Central Switzerland that controls some land and is responsible for its members support. Kirchgemeinde, a parish for members of a large church (generally Roman Catholic or Swiss Reformed. There may be two or more Kirchgemeinden in a single municipality. Schulgemeinde, similar to a school district. Bäuert, in the Berner Oberland or Graubünden) a small farming community. It is a type of agricultural cooperative with shared equipment and land.[6] Degagna, in the Leventina valley in the Canton of Ticino. It manages shared pastures, fields and woods as well as maintaining roads that cross the common land.[7]

See also[edit] Switzerland portal List of municipalities of Switzerland List of twin towns and sister cities in Switzerland Former municipalities of Switzerland Cantons of Switzerland

Notes and references[edit] ^ a b "Institutionelle Gliederungen". Bundesamt für Statistik. Retrieved 8 January 2018.  ^ a b c Bürgergemeinde in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland. ^ Official list of Swiss municipalities, p. 17 ^ a b "Population résidante permanente selon l'âge, par canton, district et commune". Office fédéral de la statistique. Retrieved 13 August 2013.  ^ a b Swiss Federal Statistical Office - Regional portraits accessed 27 October 2016 ^ Bäuert in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland. ^ Degagna in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.

External links[edit] Wikimedia Commons has media related to Municipalities in Switzerland. Amtliches Gemeindeverzeichnis der Schweiz/Liste officielle des communes de la Suisse/Elenco ufficiale dei Comuni della Svizzera, 2006. Neuchâtel, 2006. ISBN 3-303-00334-3. Nachbarschaft in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland. v t e Municipalities of Switzerland by canton (full list) Separate pages Aargau (213) Basel-Landschaft (86) Bern (383) Fribourg (150) Geneva (45) Graubünden (114) Jura (57) Lucerne (87) Neuchâtel (53) Solothurn (122) St. Gallen (77) Thurgau (80) Ticino (130) Valais (134) Vaud (318) Zurich (171) Within other pages Appenzell Innerrhoden (n.a.) Appenzell Ausserrhoden (20) Basel-Stadt (3) Glarus (3) Nidwalden (11) Obwalden (7) Schaffhausen (27) Schwyz (30) Uri (20) Zug (11) v t e Subdivisions of Switzerland Aargau Appenzell Ausserrhoden Appenzell Innerrhoden Basel-Stadt Basel-Landschaft Bern Fribourg Geneva Glarus Graubünden Jura Lucerne Neuchâtel Nidwalden Obwalden Schaffhausen Schwyz Solothurn St. Gallen Thurgau Ticino Uri Valais Vaud Zug Zürich Regions Cantons Districts Municipalities list former v t e Articles on third-level administrative divisions of countries Bangladesh Belgium Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Burkina Faso Cambodia Cameroon Chile China Costa Rica Côte d'Ivoire Dominican Republic East Timor Ecuador Ethiopia Finland France Germany Greece Guinea Haiti India Indonesia distrik kecamatan Iran Iraq Israel mo'atzot mekomio iriyot mo'atzot azoriot Italy Ivory Coast Japan Kenya Liberia Lebanon Lithuania Luxembourg Mali Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Nepal Niger Panama Papua New Guinea Peru Philippines Portugal Russia Senegal Sierra Leone Slovakia South Africa Spain Sri Lanka Switzerland Taiwan Tajikistan Thailand Togo Ukraine United States Vietnam Zimbabwe List of administrative divisions by country Switzerland portal Retrieved from "" Categories: Municipalities of SwitzerlandSubdivisions of SwitzerlandCountry subdivisions in EuropeThird-level administrative country subdivisionsHidden categories: HDS not on WikidataUse dmy dates from February 2014Use British English from February 2014Articles containing German-language textArticles containing French-language textArticles containing Italian-language textArticles containing Romansh-language textArticles containing potentially dated statements from January 2018All articles containing potentially dated statementsPages using div col without cols and colwidth parametersPages using Columns-list with deprecated parameters

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