Republic and Canton of Jura
République et canton du Jura (French)
Flag of Jura
Coat of arms of Jura
Anthem: La Nouvelle Rauracienne
Location in Switzerland
Map of Jura

Coordinates: 47°22′N 7°9′E / 47.367°N 7.150°E / 47.367; 7.150
Subdivisions64 municipalities, 3 districts
 • ExecutiveGouvernement (5)
 • LegislativeParlement (60)
 • Total838.51 km2 (323.75 sq mi)
 (December 2020)[2]
 • Total73,709
 • Density88/km2 (230/sq mi)
 • TotalCHF 4.687 billion (2020)
 • Per capitaCHF 63,643 (2020)
ISO 3166 codeCH-JU
Highest point1,302 m (4,272 ft): Mont Raimeux
Lowest point364 m (1,194 ft): Allaine at Boncourt

The Republic and Canton of Jura (French: République et canton du Jura), less formally the Canton of Jura or Canton Jura (/ˈ(d)ʒʊərə/ JOOR-ə, ZHOOR, French: [ʒyʁa] ),[needs Arpitan IPA] is the newest (founded in 1979) of the 26 Swiss cantons, located in the northwestern part of Switzerland. The capital is Delémont. It shares borders with the canton of Basel-Landschaft, the canton of Bern, the canton of Neuchatel, the canton of Solothurn, and the French régions of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté and Grand Est.


Further information: Prince-Bishopric of Basel, Rauracian Republic, and Jura separatism

Old city of Porrentruy

The king of Burgundy donated much of the land that today makes up canton Jura to the bishop of Basel in 999. The area was a sovereign state within the Holy Roman Empire for more than 800 years. After the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 the Jura had close ties with the Swiss Confederation. At the Congress of Vienna (1815), the Jura region became part of the canton of Bern. This act caused dissension. The Jura was French-speaking and Roman Catholic, whereas the canton of Bern was mostly German-speaking and Protestant.

After World War II, a separatist movement campaigned for a secession of Jura from the canton of Bern. After a long and partly militant struggle, which included some arson attacks by a youth organisation Les Béliers, a constitution was accepted in 1977. In 1978, the split was made official when the Swiss people voted in favour, and in 1979, the Jura joined the Swiss Confederation as a full member. The canton celebrated its independence from the canton of Bern on 23 June 1979. However, the southern part of the region, which is also predominantly French-speaking but has a Protestant majority, opted not to join the newly formed canton, instead remaining part of the canton of Bern. The area is now known as Bernese Jura. The word Jura, therefore, may refer either to canton Jura, or to the combined territory of canton Jura and the Bernese Jura. Switzerland as a whole often presents the latter from a touristic standpoint with documentation easily available in French or German.

The coat of arms of the canton has been added to the side of the dome in the Federal Palace in Bern, which features the arms of the other cantons, after its foundation in 1978

On creation, the canton adopted the title Republic and Canton of Jura. Other cantons in Switzerland using the title "Republic and Canton" are Ticino, Geneva, and Neuchâtel. In each case, the title refers to the autonomy of the canton and its nominal sovereignty within the Swiss Confederation.

Since 1994, the question of the Jura region has again been controversial. In 2004, a federal commission proposed that the French-speaking southern Jura be united with the canton of Jura, as the language question now seems to be more important than the denominational one. A possible solution would be to create two half-cantons, as reunification with the creation of only a single canton would mean a complete restructuring of the Jura's current political system, with the cantonal capital being transferred from Delémont to Moutier.

On 18 June 2017, the town of Moutier voted to secede from the canton of Bern and join the canton of Jura in a referendum. On 17 September 2017, the nearby municipalities of Belprahon and Sorvilier conversely voted to remain in the canton of Bern.[4] The vote in Moutier was later declared invalid.[5] On 28 March 2021, Moutier voted to secede from Bern and join Jura again in an officially sanctioned referendum.[6] The changeover is expected to be implemented by 2026.


Canton Jura lies in the northwest of Switzerland. It consists of parts of the Jura mountains in the south and the Jura plateau in the north. The Jura plateau is hilly and almost entirely limestone. The districts of Ajoie and Franches-Montagnes lie in this region. The term "Jurassic" is derived from the Jura Alps, strata of which give the era its name.

To the north and the west of the canton lies France. The canton of Solothurn and Basel-Landschaft are to east of the canton, while the canton of Bern bounds the Jura to the south. The rivers Doubs and the Birs drain the lands. The Doubs joins the Saône and then the Rhône, whereas the Birs is a tributary to the Rhine.

Political subdivisions


Districts in the canton of Jura

Jura is divided into 3 districts:


Main article: Municipalities of the canton of Jura

There are 50 municipalities in the canton (As of 2024).


Federal election results

Percentage of the total vote per party in the canton in the National Council Elections 1971-2019[7]
Party Ideology 1971 1975 1979 1983 1987 1991 1995 1999 2003 2007 2011 2015 2019
LRP.The Liberal-Radicalsa Classical liberalism c c 30.9 28.8 33.4 35.1 29.5 19.5 16.3 13.4 9.5 16.8 9.1
CVP/PDC/PPD/PCD Christian democracy c c 37.7 25.1 33.0 36.0 38.2 39.2 39.5 25.0 33.2 27.6 22.8
SP/PS Social democracy c c * b 17.8 25.5 28.8 32.4 34.2 34.2 36.9 30.8 23.7 27.0
SVP/UDC Swiss nationalism c c * 2.0 * * * 7.2 8.3 13.7 15.5 12.8 14.5
CSP/PCS Christian socialism c c * 11.8 8.1 * * * * 11.0 * 6.6 9.6
PdA/PST-POP/PC/PSL Socialism c c * * * * * * * * * 3.8 *
GPS/PES Green politics c c * * * * * * * * 11.0 7.3 15.6
EDU/UDF Christian right c c * * * * * * 1.8 * * * *
Other c c 31.4 14.5 * * * * * * * 1.4 1.4
Voter participation % c c 58.6 61.4 51.6 43.4 42.4 40.9 46.6 44.0 44.4 54.3 42.6
^a RDP before 2010
^b "*" indicates that the party was not on the ballot in this canton.
^c Part of the canton of Bern


The population is almost entirely French-speaking. Just one municipality is German-speaking: Ederswiler. The majority of the population is Roman Catholic (75% as of 2000) with a small Protestant minority (13%).[8] The population of the canton (as of 31 December 2020) was 73,709.[2] As of 2007, the population included 8,195 foreigners, or about 11.8% of the total population.[9]

Historic population

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


Agriculture is important in canton Jura. Cattle breeding is significant, but there is also horse breeding (the Franches-Montagnes is the last Swiss horse race). The main industries are watches, textiles and tobacco. There is a growing number of small and medium-sized businesses. In 2001, there were 3,578 people who worked in the primary economic sector. 14,109 people were employed in the secondary sector and 16,513 people were employed in the tertiary sector.[10]

In 2001, the canton produced 0.9% of the entire Swiss national income while it had 0.9% of the total population.[10] In 2005, the average share of the national income per resident of the canton was 38,070 CHF, while the national average was 54,031 CHF, or about 70% of the national income per person.[11] Between 2003 and 2005, the average income grew at a rate of 6.4%, which was larger than the national rate of 5.3%. The average taxes in the canton are higher than in most cantons, in 2006, the tax index in the canton was 126.6 (Swiss average is 100.0). In 2006, the canton had the highest final tax rate on high wage earners (15.26% on a married couple with two children earning 150,000 CHF vs 11.6% nationally), though the tax rate was in the middle for lower-income families.[11]


The eau de vie Damassine is one typical produce of the Ajoie area. (see Terroir Jura and Jura Infos)

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Arealstatistik Land Cover - Kantone und Grossregionen nach 6 Hauptbereichen accessed 27 October 2017
  2. ^ a b "Ständige und nichtständige Wohnbevölkerung nach institutionellen Gliederungen, Geburtsort und Staatsangehörigkeit". bfs.admin.ch (in German). Swiss Federal Statistical Office - STAT-TAB. 31 December 2020. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  3. ^ Statistik, Bundesamt für (2021-01-21). "Bruttoinlandsprodukt (BIP) nach Grossregion und Kanton - 2008-2018 | Tabelle". Bundesamt für Statistik (in German). Retrieved 2023-07-01.
  4. ^ "Two Bern villages vote against following Moutier to canton Jura". September 18, 2017.
  5. ^ Swiss Info 5 November 2018
  6. ^ "Liesse jurassienne à Moutier après le net oui dans les urnes". RTS (in French). 28 March 2021. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  7. ^ Nationalratswahlen: Stärke der Parteien nach Kantonen (Schweiz = 100%) (Report). Swiss Federal Statistical Office. 2015. Archived from the original on 2016-08-02. Retrieved 2016-08-05.
  8. ^ Federal Department of Statistics (2004). "Wohnbevölkerung nach Religion". Archived from the original (Interactive Map) on 2016-09-24. Retrieved 2009-01-15.
  9. ^ Federal Department of Statistics (2008). "Ständige Wohnbevölkerung nach Staatsangehörigkeit, Geschlecht und Kantonen". Archived from the original (Microsoft Excel) on December 15, 2008. Retrieved November 5, 2008.
  10. ^ a b c d Canton of Jura in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  11. ^ a b Regionale Disparitäten in der Schweiz - Schlüsselindikatoren Archived 2013-06-14 at the Wayback Machine (in German and French) accessed 20 December 2011