Counties of Croatia


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The primary territorial subdivisions of the Republic of Croatia called županije (singular: županija). In English they are commonly referred to as counties.

There is a total of 21 županije, counting in the City of Zagreb which has status equal to that of a županija.

The Croatian term županija derives from župa meaning parish, so županija would linguistically equate to civil parish in English.



Croatia has had sub-divisions since the Middle Ages. However, their sizes, names and positions changed with time.

The Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia was subdivided in 1867 into eight counties or comitatus. The Kingdom of Dalmatia was similarly divided into districts. The Parliament of Croatia was officially called Sabor Kraljevine Hrvatske, Dalmacije i Slavonije (Latin: Congregatio generalis Regnorum Croatiae, Dalmatiae et Slavoniae). Other institutions also bore that title.

The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes retained the territorial subdivisions of its historical provinces up to 1922. Between 1922 and 1929 the Kingdom continued to be divided with some respect to the borders of historical provinces, but previous units of territorial subdivisions (like the counties) were replaced by the greater units called oblast (in Serbo-Croato-Slovene language). In the territory of Croatia-Slavonia and Dalmatia there were six units: Dubrovačka oblast, Osječka oblast, Primorsko-krajiška oblast (Karlovac), Splitska oblast, Srijemska oblast (Vukovar) and Zagrebačka oblast. The following territorial changes were made: Kastavština was attached to Ljubljanska oblast, Međimurje to Mariborska oblast and the Bay of Kotor to Cetinjska oblast.

With the formation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929, most of the territory of the former Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia became part of the Sava Banovina and some of the territory of the former Kingdom of Dalmatia became part of the Littoral Banovina, but the borders of historical provinces were not respected.

In Socialist Yugoslavia, the Socialist Republic of Croatia was divided into općine (sing. općina) which were smaller than the present counties. The designation općina has been retained for municipalities which are one level smaller than the županije and also smaller than the old općine.

The political representatives elected for županija government used to form a Županijski dom or Chamber of Counties in the Croatian Parliament, between 1993 and 2001.

Present-day županije were introduced in the 1990 Constitution of Croatia, and have only slightly changed since.


Each county has a county assembly (županijska skupština) which is composed of representatives elected by popular vote in local elections, using party-list proportional representation, to four-year terms. The assembly appoints executive leadership on the county level, approves the annual county budget, regulates county property, etc.

Executive leader of a county is called župan (translated as "prefect"), who has one or two deputies each called dožupan (lit. "vice-prefect"). The prefect presides over the county's executive government (županijsko poglavarstvo), and represents the county in external affairs.

List of counties

Since the counties were re-established in 1992, Croatia is divided into 20 counties and the capital city of Zagreb, the latter having the authority and legal status of a county and a city at the same time. Borders of the counties changed in some instances since, with the latest revision taking place in 2006. The counties subdivide into 127 cities and 429 municipalities.[1]

County Seat Area (km²) Population
Bjelovar-Bilogora Bjelovar 2,652 119,743
Brod-Posavina Slavonski Brod 2,043 158,559
Dubrovnik-Neretva Dubrovnik 1,783 122,783
Istria Pazin 2,820 208,440
Karlovac Karlovac 3,622 128,749
Koprivnica-Križevci Koprivnica 1,746 115,582
Krapina-Zagorje Krapina 1,224 133,064
Lika-Senj Gospić 5,350 51,022
Međimurje Čakovec 730 114,414
Osijek-Baranja Osijek 4,152 304,899
Požega-Slavonia Požega 1,845 78,031
Primorje-Gorski Kotar Rijeka 3,582 296,123
Šibenik-Knin Šibenik 2,939 109,320
Sisak-Moslavina Sisak 4,463 172,977
Split-Dalmatia Split 4,534 455,242
Varaždin Varaždin 1,261 176,046
Virovitica-Podravina Virovitica 2,068 84,586
Vukovar-Syrmia Vukovar 2,448 180,117
Zadar Zadar 3,642 170,398
Zagreb County Zagreb 3,078 317,642
City of Zagreb Zagreb 641 792,875


Vector map of Croatian counties

The county names ending in the suffixes -čka and -ska are adjectives, with the noun županija implied, so e.g. Karlovačka's full name is Karlovačka županija. Some counties prefer to swap the order of those two words but they are in the minority (since February 7, 1997 when the order was officially changed).


Zagreb itself is grad, a city, due to its importance it has a county status and jurisdiction. Any town with population over 35,000 can take over a part of jurisdiction of its county.

See also


  • Mirošević, Franko (editor); Goldstein, Ivo; Grgin, Borislav; Moačanin, Nenad; Potrebica, Filip; Pavličević, Dragutin; Vranješ-Šoljan, Božena; Kolar-Dimitrijević, Mira; Klemenčić, Mladen; Rogić, Veljko; Gmajnić, Ladislav (maps); Hrvatske županije kroz stoljeća, (English: Croatian Counties Across Centuries), Školska knjiga i Zavod za hrvatsku povijest Filozofskoga fakulteta Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, Zagreb, 1996.

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