Today, roughly 38,000 people live in the canton of Glarus, one fifth of them foreigners. With 56 inhabitants per square kilometre, the population density is low; even on the more heavily settled valley bottom, there are fewer people per square kilometre than in the big cantons - to say nothing of nearby centres like Zurich. Glarus, the smallest cantonal capital in Switzerland, has been home to about 12,000 people since the organisational reforms.

Around the end of the 19th century when industrial machinery destroyed work places, one out of every eight locals left their beloved homeland. Since then, many have returned home - and even more people have moved in from other regions. Families especially treasure Glarnerland, partly because the quality of life is so high and partly because real estate and land prices as well as the cost of living are low and the tax system is attractive.

Some interesting figures*:

  • 25 % of Glarner residents are 19 or younger
  • 58 % of Glarner residents are 20 to 64 years old
  • 17 % of Glarner residents are older than 64
  • An average of 2.4 people live in the 15,382 private households
  • 11.7 % of employed residents take public transportation to work
  • 42.1 % of employed residents take a car to work

* Source: Swiss Federal Statistical Office