Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Swiss Council of States

The Council of States of Switzerland (German: Ständerat, French Conseil des Etats, Italian Consiglio degli Stati) is the upper house of the parliament (Senate) and has 46 seats.

20 cantons send two members, whereas the cantons of Obwalden, Nidwalden, Basel-Stadt, Basel-Landschaft, Appenzell Ausserrhoden and Appenzell Innerrhoden only one.

41 member of the Council of States are elected at the same time. The representatives of the cantons of Zug and Graubünden are elected one year early. In the canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden the representatives are elected by the general assembly (Landsgemeinde). With the exception of the Canton of Jura, the representatives are elected by majority vote. In the canton of Jura, a proportional representation election system is used.

There are currently (2002) 9 women in the Council of States (19.5%).

The Swiss Council of States, is elected by the Swiss citizens as is the National Council.

Number of seats and population

AbbrCanton Seats Population ¹per seat² 

ZHZürich 21,228,600614,3001.0
BEBern 2947,100473,5501.3
VDVaud 2626,200313,1002.0
AGAargau 2550,900275,4502.2
BLBasel-Landschaft 1261,400261,4002.4
SGSt. Gallen 2452,600226,3002.7
GEGeneva 2414,300207,1503.0
BSBasel-Stadt 1186,700186,7003.3
LULucerne 2350,600175,3003.5
TITicino 2311,900155,9503.9
VSValais 2278,200139,1004.4
SOSolothurn 2245,500122,7505.0
FRFribourg 2239,100119,5505.1
TGThurgau 2228,200114,1005.4
GRGraubünden 2185,70092,8506.6
NENeuchâtel 2166,50083,2507.4
SZSchwyz 2131,40065,7009.4
ARAppenzell Ausserrhoden 153,20053,20011.5
ZGZug 2100,90050,45012.2
NWNidwalden 138,60038,60015.9
SHSchaffhausen 273,40036,70016.7
JUJura 269,10034,55017.8
OWObwalden 1327003270018.8
GLGlarus 238,30019,15032.1
URUri 235,00017,50035.1
AIAppenzell Innerrhoden 115,00015,00041.0
Overall 467,261,200157,8523.9
Notes: ¹ Population data from
Cantons of Switzerland (2001). ² Relative representation compared to Zürich.

External link

See also: Presidents of the Council of States