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Counties of Croatia

Counties of Croatia
Hrvatske županije (Croatian)
Counties of Croatia:   Bjelovar-Bilogora   Brod-Posavina   Dubrovnik-Neretva   Istria   Karlovac   Koprivnica-Križevci   Krapina-Zagorje   Lika-Senj   Međimurje   Osijek-Baranja   Požega-Slavonia   Primorje-Gorski Kotar   Šibenik-Knin   Sisak-Moslavina   Split-Dalmatia   Varaždin   Virovitica-Podravina   Vukovar-Srijem   Zadar   City of Zagreb   Zagreb County

Category Unitary state
Location Republic of Croatia
Number 20 Counties
Populations 50,927 (Lika-Senj) – 790,017 (Zagreb)
Areas 247 square miles (640 km2) (Zagreb) - 2,067 square miles (5,350 km2) (Lika-Senj)
Government County government, National government
Subdivisions Municipality
Coat of arms
This article is part of a series on the
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The counties of Croatia (Croatian: županije) are the primary administrative subdivisions of the Republic of Croatia.[1] Since they were re-established in 1992, Croatia has been divided into 20 counties and the capital city of Zagreb, which has the authority and legal status of both a county and a city (separate from the surrounding Zagreb County).[2][3] The counties are subdivided into 127 cities and 429 (mostly rural) municipalities.[4]


  • Government 1
  • Funding and tasks 2
  • Nomenclature 3
  • History 4
  • Lists of counties 5
    • Current 5.1
    • Former 5.2
  • See also 6
  • Notes 7
  • References 8


Each county has an assembly (Croatian: skupština) with members elected by popular vote through closed lists in local elections.[5] The executive branch of each county's government is headed by a county prefect (Croatian: župan), except that a mayor heads the city of Zagreb's executive branch.[6]

Funding and tasks

The counties are funded by the central government, as well as from county-owned businesses, county taxes and county fees.[7] County taxes include a five percent inheritance and gift tax, a motor vehicle tax, a vessel tax and an arcade game machine tax.[8] The counties are tasked with performing general public administration services, primary and secondary education, government funded healthcare, social welfare, administration pertaining to agriculture, forestry, hunting, fisheries, mining, industry and construction, as well as road transport infrastructure management and other services to the economy, at the county level; the central government and local (city and municipal) governments may also perform each of those tasks at their respective levels.[9] The Croatian County Association was set up in 2003 as a framework for inter-county cooperation.[10]


The Croatian (singular) term županija was originally applied to territory controlled by a župan (official title).[11] Since the 12th century, the counties have also been referred to by the Latin term comitatus.[11]


Map of approximate locations of early medieval counties of Croatia
Approximate positions of the first counties of 10th century Croatia, overlaid on a map of modern Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina

Croatia was first subdivided into counties in the Middle Ages.[12] Counties were first introduced in Croatia during the House of Trpimirović's rule. The exact number and borders of these early counties are difficult to determine accurately; they were considered to encompass areas subordinated to a single centre of local authority, but the possessions of significant nobles had a legal status separate from local authority.

The following eleven are usually listed as the oldest counties of Croatia, dating back to the 10th century:[13]

In the same period, the counties in Pannonian Croatia (north of Gvozd Mountain) are poorly documented. It is generally thought that the Pannonian counties were directly subject to the Croatian monarchy, unlike the southern counties controlled by nobles.[11]

The county number, extent and authority have varied significantly, reflecting: changes in the monarchial and noble relative influences; Ottoman conquest and Croatian recapture of various territories; and societal and political changes through several centuries.[11][14] In the 13th and 14th century, the Croatian nobility grew stronger and the counties defined by the king were reduced to a legislative framework, while military and financial power was concentrated in the feudal lords. Other forms of administration that overlapped with county administration in this period included the Roman Catholic Church and the free royal cities, and separately the cities of Dalmatia. After Croatia became a crown land of the Habsburg Monarchy in 1527, the importance of counties faded even further, but was gradually restored after 1760.[11]

The divisions have changed over time, reflecting: territorial losses to Ottoman conquest and subsequent Croatian recapture of some territory; changes in the political status of Dalmatia, Dubrovnik and Istria; and political circumstances, including the personal union and settlement between Croatia and Hungary.[11][14]

In the 19th century, the

  1. ^ "Ustav Republike Hrvatske (pročišćeni tekst)" [Constitution of the Republic of Croatia (consolidated text)].  
  2. ^ "Gospodarski profil Grada Zagreba i Zagrebačke županije" [Economic profile of the City of Zagreb and the Zagreb County] (in Croatian).  
  3. ^ "Zakon o područjima županija, gradova i općina u Republici Hrvatskoj" [Territories of Counties, Cities and Municipalities of the Republic of Croatia Act].  
  4. ^ a b c "Zakon o područjima županija, gradova i općina u Republici Hrvatskoj" [Territories of Counties, Cities and Municipalities of the Republic of Croatia Act].  
  5. ^ "Zakon o izboru članova predstavničkih tijela jedinica lokalne i područne (regionalne) samouprave" [Members of Local and Regional Self-Government Representative Bodies Election Act].  
  6. ^ "Zakon o izborima općinskih načelnika, gradonačelnika, župana i gradonačelnika grada Zagreba" [Municipal Mayor, City Mayor, County Prefect and City of Zagreb Mayor Election Act].  
  7. ^ "Zakon o lokalnoj i područnoj (regionalnoj) samoupravi" [Local and Regional Self-Government Act].  
  8. ^ "The Croatian tax system". Croatian Tax Administration. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  9. ^ Anto Bajo; Mihaela Bronić (December 2004). "Fiskalna decentralizacija u Hrvatskoj: problemi fiskalnog izravnanja" [Fiscal Decentralisation in Croatia: Problems of Fiscal Equalisation]. Financijska teorija i praksa (in Croatian) (Institute of Public Finance) 28 (4): 445–467. Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  10. ^ "Croatian County Association". Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h Josip Vrbošić (September 1992). "Povijesni pregled razvitka županijske uprave i samouprave u Hrvatskoj" [A historical review of the development of county administration and self-government in Croatia]. Društvena istraživanja (in Croatian) (Ivo Pilar Institute of Social Sciences) 1 (1): 55–68.  
  12. ^ Oleg Mandić (1952). "O nekim pitanjima društvenog uređenja Hrvatske u srednjem vijeku" [On some issues regarding Croatia's social system in the Middle Ages] (PDF). Historijski zbornik (in Croatian) ( 
  13. ^ "Iz povijesti Splitsko-dalmatinske županije IV." [Outline of history of the Split-Dalmatia County (4)] (in Croatian).  
  14. ^ a b c  
  15. ^ a b Branko Dubravica (January 2002). "Političko-teritorijalna podjela i opseg civilne Hrvatske u godinama sjedinjenja s vojnom Hrvatskom 1871–1886" [Political and territorial division and scope of civilian Croatia in the period of unification with the Croatian military frontier 1871–1886]. Politička misao (in Croatian) ( 
  16. ^ Richard C. Frucht (2005). Eastern Europe: An Introduction to the People, Lands, and Culture. ABC-CLIO. p. 429.  
  17. ^ Mark Biondich (2000). Stjepan Radić, the Croat Peasant Party, and the politics of mass mobilization, 1904–1928.  
  18. ^ "Zakon o područjima županija, gradova i općina u Republici Hrvatskoj" [Territories of Counties, Cities and Municipalities of the Republic of Croatia Act].  
  19. ^ "Nacionalno izviješće Hrvatska" [Croatian National Report] (PDF) (in Croatian).  
  20. ^ a b "Counties, surface area, population, towns, municipalities and settlements, 2011 census".  
  21. ^ "Gross domestic product for Republic of Croatia, statistical regions at level 2 and counties, 2011".  
  22. ^ Mira Kolar-Dimitrijević (October 1991). "Utjecaj Prvog svjetskog rata na kretanje stanovništva i stočarstva na području Hrvatske i Slavonije" [Impact of World War I on population and animal husbandry trends in the area of Croatia and Slavonia]. Radovi Zavoda za hrvatsku povijest (in Croatian) ( 


  1. ^ The city of Zagreb acts as both a county and a city, and is not part of any other county—Zagreb County is a separate administrative unit encompassing territory outside the city of Zagreb.[4]


See also

Counties of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia after the reorganisation of 1886
County Seat Area
Population (1910)[22] Arms Geographic coordinates
Bjelovar-Križevci Bjelovar 5,048 km2 (1,949 sq mi) 331,385 Coat of arms of Bjelovar-Križevci County
Lika-Krbava Gospić 6,217 km2 (2,400 sq mi) 203,973 Coat of arms of Lika-Krbava County
Modruš-Rijeka Ogulin 4,874 km2 (1,882 sq mi) 231,354
Požega Požega 4,938 km2 (1,907 sq mi) 263,690 Coat of arms of Požega County
Syrmia Vukovar 6,848 km2 (2,644 sq mi) 410,007 Coat of arms of Syrmia County
Varaždin Varaždin 2,521 km2 (973 sq mi) 305,558 Pre-1922 coat of arms of Varaždin County
Virovitica Osijek 4,852 km2 (1,873 sq mi) 269,199 Coat of arms of Virovitica County
Zagreb Zagreb 7,215 km2 (2,786 sq mi) 587,378 Pre-1922 coat of arms of Zagreb County
Map of counties of Croatia in 1886
Counties of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia, and location of the kingdom within Austria-Hungary (inset, orange)


Counties of Croatia as defined in 2006
County Seat Area[20] Population (2011)[20] GDP per capita (2011)[21] Arms Geographic coordinates
Bjelovar-Bilogora Bjelovar 2,640 km2 (1,020 sq mi) 119,764 070627,062 Coat of arms of Bjelovar-Bilogora County
Brod-Posavina Slavonski Brod 2,030 km2 (780 sq mi) 158,575 058825,882 € Coat of arms of Brod-Posavina County
Dubrovnik-Neretva Dubrovnik 1,781 km2 (688 sq mi) 122,568 098079,807 € Coat of arms of Dubrovnik-Neretva County
Istria Pazin 2,813 km2 (1,086 sq mi) 208,055 1299112,991 € Coat of arms of Istria County
Karlovac Karlovac 3,626 km2 (1,400 sq mi) 128,899 077097,709 € Coat of arms of Karlovac County
Koprivnica-Križevci Koprivnica 1,748 km2 (675 sq mi) 115,584 085248,524 € Coat of arms of Koprivnica-Križevci County
Krapina-Zagorje Krapina 1,229 km2 (475 sq mi) 132,892 063006,300 € Coat of arms of Krapina-Zagorje County
Lika-Senj Gospić 5,353 km2 (2,067 sq mi) 50,927 080818,081 € Coat of arms of Lika-Senj County
Međimurje CČakovecČakovec 0,730729 km2 (281 sq mi) 113,804 084598,459 € Coat of arms of Međimurje County
Osijek-Baranja Osijek 4,155 km2 (1,604 sq mi) 305,032 082718,271 € Coat of arms of Osijek-Baranja County
Požega-Slavonia Požega 1,823 km2 (704 sq mi) 78,034 062816,281 € Coat of arms of Požega-Slavonia County
Primorje-Gorski Kotar Rijeka 3,588 km2 (1,385 sq mi) 296,195 1272412,724 € Coat of arms of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County
SŠibenikŠibenik-Knin SŠibenikŠibenik 2,984 km2 (1,152 sq mi) 109,375 079307,930 € Coat of arms of Šibenik-Knin County
Sisak-Moslavina Sisak 4,468 km2 (1,725 sq mi) 172,439 082148,214 € Coat of arms of Sisak-Moslavina County
Split-Dalmatia Split 4,540 km2 (1,750 sq mi) 454,798 080728,072 € Coat of arms of Split-Dalmatia County
Varaždin Varaždin 1,262 km2 (487 sq mi) 175,951 082858,285 € Post-1992 coat of arms of Varaždin County
Virovitica-Podravina Virovitica 2,024 km2 (781 sq mi) 84,836 063336,333 € Coat of arms of Virovitica-Podravina County
Vukovar-Srijem Vukovar 2,454 km2 (947 sq mi) 179,521 062176,217 € Coat of arms of Vukovar-Srijem County
Zadar Zadar 3,646 km2 (1,408 sq mi) 170,017 083028,302 € Coat of arms of Zadar County
Zagreb County Zagreb 3,060 km2 (1,180 sq mi) 317,606 077867,786 € Post-1992 coat of arms of Zagreb County
Zagreb, the city ofCity of Zagreb[1] Zagreb 0,641641 km2 (247 sq mi) 790,017 1850318,503 € Coat of arms of the city of Zagreb


Lists of counties

Today's counties correspond to tier three of the European Union (EU) Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) division of Croatia. The NUTS Local Administrative Unit (LAU) divisions are two-tiered; the LAU 1 divisions for Croatia also match the counties (in effect making these the same as the NUTS 3 units).[19]

The traditional division of Croatia into counties was abolished in 1922, when the Transleithanian Croatia was divided into eight counties, but the new legislation established fourteen counties in the same territory. Međimurje County was established in the eponymous region acquired through the 1920 Treaty of Trianon.[17][18] The county borders have sometimes changed since their 1992 restoration (for reasons such as historical ties and requests by cities); the latest revision took place in 2006.[4]

[11] The counties were set up as self-governmental units in contrast to earlier county incarnations since the Middle Ages. Each had an assembly with the wealthiest taxpayers comprising half the assembly members and elected members comprising the remaining half.[15] while some minor adjustments of county boundaries happened in 1913.[14][11]

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