Bever, Switzerland


Coat of arms
Coordinates: 46°33′N 9°53′E / 46.550°N 9.883°E / 46.550; 9.883Coordinates: 46°33′N 9°53′E / 46.550°N 9.883°E / 46.550; 9.883
Country Switzerland
Canton Graubünden
District Maloja
  Total 45.75 km2 (17.66 sq mi)
Elevation 1,708 m (5,604 ft)
Population (Dec 2015[2])
  Total 627
  Density 14/km2 (35/sq mi)
Postal code 7502
SFOS number 3781
Surrounded by Bergün/Bravuogn, Bivio, La Punt-Chamues-ch, Marmorera, Samedan, Sankt-Moritz, Silvaplana, Sur, Tinizong-Rona
SFSO statistics

Bever (Romansh:  [ˈbevəɾ] ; German and official until 1943 Bevers) is a municipality in the district of Maloja in the Swiss canton of Graubünden.


Bever is first mentioned in 1139 as ad Bevero.[3]


View of Bever
Inn at Bever

Bever has an area, (as of the 2004/09 survey) of 45.75 km2 (17.66 sq mi).[1] Of this area, about 15.3% is used for agricultural purposes, while 15.1% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 1.2% is settled (buildings or roads) and 68.4% is unproductive land. Over the past two decades (1979/85-2004/09) the amount of land that is settled has increased by 9 ha (22 acres) and the agricultural land has decreased by 41 ha (100 acres).[4]

The municipality is located in the Oberengadin sub-district of the Maloja district. It is located on the Inn River. It consists of the village of Bever and the hamlet of Spinas at the entrance to the Albula Tunnel. Until 1943 Bever was known as Bevers.[5]


Bever has a population (as of December 2015) of 627.[2] As of 2013, 17.4% of the population are resident foreign nationals. Over the last 3 years (2010-2013) the population has changed at a rate of -4.09%. The birth rate in the municipality, in 2013, was 3.2 while the death rate was 7.9 per thousand residents.[4]

As of 2000, the gender distribution of the population was 51.5% male and 48.5% female.[6]

As of 2013, children and teenagers (0–19 years old) make up 14.8% of the population, while adults (20–64 years old) are 68.6% and seniors (over 64 years old) make up 16.6%.[4]

In 2013 there were 289 private households in Bever with an average household size of 2.17 persons. Of the 183 inhabited buildings in the municipality, in 2000, about 39.9% were single family homes and 37.2% were multiple family buildings. Additionally, about 32.8% of the buildings were built before 1919, while 19.1% were built between 1991 and 2000.[7] In 2012 there was no new housing construction in the municipality. The vacancy rate for the municipality, in 2014, was 0.32%.[4]

Historic population

The historical population is given in the following chart:[8]


In the 2015 federal election the most popular party was the SVP with 28.4% of the vote. The next three most popular parties were the SP (26.0%), the FDP (15.5%) and the BDP (14.4%). In the federal election, a total of 242 votes were cast, and the voter turnout was 51.9%. The 2015 election saw a large change in the voting when compared to 2011. The percentage of the vote received by the SVP increased sharply from 22.5% in 2011 to 28.4% in 2015[9]

In the 2007 federal election the most popular party was the SP which received 34.8% of the vote. The next three most popular parties were the SVP (30.9%), the FDP (20%) and the local, small right-wing parties (7.5%).[10]


In Bever about 80.5% of the population (between age 25-64) have completed either non-mandatory upper secondary education or additional higher education (either university or a Fachhochschule).[10]


As of 2012, there were a total of 335 people employed in the municipality. Of these, a total of 22 people worked in 7 businesses in the primary economic sector. The secondary sector employed 144 workers in 8 separate businesses. Finally, the tertiary sector provided 169 jobs in 50 businesses. In 2013 0.0% of the population received social assistance.[4]


Most of the population (as of 2000) speaks German (66.6%), with Romansh being second most common (18.9%) and Italian being third (11.7%).[10] Until the mid 19th Century, the entire population spoke the Upper-Engadin Romansh dialect of Puter. Due to increasing trade with the outside world, Romansh usage began to decline. In 1880 about 81% spoke Romansh as a first language, while in 1910 it was only 59%. The last time that Romansh was the majority language in Bever was in 1941. Following World War II German became the clear majority language. However, in the 1990s many German speakers moved away from the village causing the percentage of Romansh speakers to increase. In 1990 there were 47% who understood Romansh in Bever and in 2000 it was 45%.

Languages of Bever[11]
Languages Census 1970 Census 1980 Census 1990 Census 2000
Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
German 135 36.8% 175 40.5% 292 58.9% 420 66.6%
Romansh 123 33.5% 156 36.1% 120 24.2% 119 18.9%
Italian 104 28.3% 87 20.1% 73 14.7% 74 11.7%
TOTAL 367 100% 432100% 496 100% 631 100%


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