Counties of Croatia

Counties of Croatia
Hrvatske županije (Croatian)
Vukovar-Srijem County Osijek-Baranja County Brod-Posavina County Požega-Slavonia County Virovitica-Podravina County Bjelovar-Bilogora County Koprivnica-Križevci County Međimurje County Varaždin County Krapina-Zagorje County Zagreb County City of Zagreb Sisak-Moslavina County Karlovac County Istria County Primorje-Gorski Kotar County Lika-Senj County Zadar County Šibenik-Knin County Split-Dalmatia County Dubrovnik-Neretva CountyMap of present-day counties of Croatia
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 640 km2 (247 sq mi) (Zagreb) – 5,350 km2 (2,067 sq mi) (Lika-Senj)
Government County government, National government
Subdivisions Municipality and City
Coat of arms
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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] As of 2015, the counties are subdivided into 128 cities and 428 (mostly rural) municipalities.[4][5]


County assembly (Croatian: županijska skupština) is a representative and deliberative body in each county. Assembly members are elected for a four-year term by popular vote (proportional system with closed lists and d'Hondt method) in local elections.[6]

The executive branch of each county's government is headed by a county prefect (county president) (Croatian: župan), except that a mayor heads the city of Zagreb's executive branch. Croatia's county prefects (with two deputy prefects), mayor of Zagreb (with two deputy mayors)[7] are elected for a four-year term by a majority of votes cast within applicable local government units, with a runoff election if no candidate achieves a majority in the first round of voting (majoritarian vote, two-round system)[6] County prefects (with deputy prefects and mayor of Zagreb with his/her deputies) can be recalled by a referendum. County administrative bodies are administrative departments and services which are established for the performance of works in the self-governing domain of the county, as well as for the performance of works of state administration transferred to the county. Administrative departments and services are managed by heads (principals) nominated by the county prefect on the basis of a public competition.[8]

In each county exists State Administrative Office (Croatian: Ured državne uprave) which performs the tasks of the central government. Head of State Administrative Office is appointed by the Croatian Government (in the City of Zagreb the mayor is responsible for the state administration).

Funding and tasks

The counties are funded by the central government, as well as from county-owned businesses, county taxes and county fees. County taxes include a five percent inheritance and gift tax, a motor vehicle tax, a vessel tax and an arcade game machine tax.[9] [10]

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, and other services to the economy at the county level, as well as road transport infrastructure management and issuing of building and location permits and other document in relation to construction in the county area excluding the area of the big city and the county seat city; the central government and local (city and municipal) governments may also perform each of those tasks at their respective levels according to the law.[8]

The Croatian County Association was set up in 2003 as a framework for inter-county cooperation.[11]


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


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.[13] 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:[14]

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.[12]

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.[12][15] 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.[12]

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.[12][15]

In the 19th century, the Revolutions of 1848 in the Habsburg areas brought upon numerous political changes and introduced a civic government of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia as part of Austria-Hungary, which in turn proceeded to absorb the Croatian and Slavonian Military Frontiers in 1881. The last major reorganisation of the counties was in 1886, when eight counties were established within the kingdom. This layout largely remained in effect until the Croatian counties were abolished in 1922,[12][15] while some minor adjustments of county boundaries happened in 1913.[16] 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.[12]

The traditional division of Croatia into counties was abolished in 1922, when the oblasts of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes were introduced; these were later replaced by the banovinas of Yugoslavia.[17] Communist-ruled Croatia, as a constituent part of post-World War II Yugoslavia, organised Croatia into approximately 100 municipalities. The counties were reintroduced in 1992, but with significant territorial alterations from the pre-1922 subdivisions; for instance, before 1922 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.[18][19] 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]

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).[20]

Lists of counties


Counties of Croatia as defined in 2006
County Seat Area[21] Population (2011)[21] GDP per capita (2013)[22] Arms Geographic coordinates
Bjelovar-Bilogora Bjelovar 2,640 km2 (1,020 sq mi)119,764 6,838 € Coat of arms of Bjelovar-Bilogora County 45°54′10″N 16°50′51″E / 45.90278°N 16.84750°E / 45.90278; 16.84750 (Bjelovar-Bilogora County)
Brod-Posavina Slavonski Brod 2,030 km2 (780 sq mi)158,575 5,858 € Coat of arms of Brod-Posavina County 45°09′27″N 18°01′13″E / 45.15750°N 18.02028°E / 45.15750; 18.02028 (Brod-Posavina County)
Dubrovnik-Neretva Dubrovnik 1,781 km2 (688 sq mi)122,568 9,969 € Coat of arms of Dubrovnik-Neretva County 42°39′13″N 18°05′41″E / 42.65361°N 18.09472°E / 42.65361; 18.09472 (Dubrovnik-Neretva County)
Istria Pazin 2,813 km2 (1,086 sq mi)208,055 12,711 € Coat of arms of Istria County 45°14′21″N 13°56′19″E / 45.23917°N 13.93861°E / 45.23917; 13.93861 (Istria County)
Karlovac Karlovac 3,626 km2 (1,400 sq mi)128,899 7,763 € Coat of arms of Karlovac County 45°29′35″N 15°33′21″E / 45.49306°N 15.55583°E / 45.49306; 15.55583 (Karlovac County)
Koprivnica-Križevci Koprivnica 1,748 km2 (675 sq mi)115,584 8,768 € Coat of arms of Koprivnica-Križevci County 46°10′12″N 16°54′33″E / 46.17000°N 16.90917°E / 46.17000; 16.90917 (Koprivnica-Križevci County)
Krapina-Zagorje Krapina 1,229 km2 (475 sq mi)132,892 6,380 € Coat of arms of Krapina-Zagorje County 46°7′30″N 15°48′25″E / 46.12500°N 15.80694°E / 46.12500; 15.80694 (Krapina-Zagorje County)
Lika-Senj Gospić 5,353 km2 (2,067 sq mi)50,927 7,841 € Coat of arms of Lika-Senj County 44°42′25″N 15°10′27″E / 44.70694°N 15.17417°E / 44.70694; 15.17417 (Lika-Senj County)
Međimurje Čakovec 729 km2 (281 sq mi)113,804 8,481 € Coat of arms of Međimurje County 46°27′58″N 16°24′50″E / 46.46611°N 16.41389°E / 46.46611; 16.41389 (Međimurje County)
Osijek-Baranja Osijek 4,155 km2 (1,604 sq mi)305,032 8,121 € Coat of arms of Osijek-Baranja County 45°38′13″N 18°37′5″E / 45.63694°N 18.61806°E / 45.63694; 18.61806 (Osijek-Baranja County)
Požega-Slavonia Požega 1,823 km2 (704 sq mi)78,034 6,102 € Coat of arms of Požega-Slavonia County 45°18′40″N 17°44′24″E / 45.31111°N 17.74000°E / 45.31111; 17.74000 (Požega-Slavonia County)
Primorje-Gorski Kotar Rijeka 3,588 km2 (1,385 sq mi)296,195 12,930 € Coat of arms of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County 45°27′14″N 14°35′38″E / 45.45389°N 14.59389°E / 45.45389; 14.59389 (Primorje-Gorski Kotar County)
Šibenik-Knin Šibenik 2,984 km2 (1,152 sq mi)109,375 8,051 € Coat of arms of Šibenik-Knin County 43°55′44″N 16°3′43″E / 43.92889°N 16.06194°E / 43.92889; 16.06194 (Šibenik-Knin County)
Sisak-Moslavina Sisak 4,468 km2 (1,725 sq mi)172,439 7,842 € Coat of arms of Sisak-Moslavina County 45°13′15″N 16°15′5″E / 45.22083°N 16.25139°E / 45.22083; 16.25139 (Sisak-Moslavina County)
Split-Dalmatia Split 4,540 km2 (1,750 sq mi)454,798 7,849 € Coat of arms of Split-Dalmatia County 43°10′0″N 16°30′0″E / 43.16667°N 16.50000°E / 43.16667; 16.50000 (Split-Dalmatia County)
Varaždin Varaždin 1,262 km2 (487 sq mi)175,951 8,415 € Post-1992 coat of arms of Varaždin County 46°19′16″N 16°13′52″E / 46.32111°N 16.23111°E / 46.32111; 16.23111 (Varaždin County)
Virovitica-Podravina Virovitica 2,024 km2 (781 sq mi)84,836 6,043 € Coat of arms of Virovitica-Podravina County 45°52′23″N 17°30′18″E / 45.87306°N 17.50500°E / 45.87306; 17.50500 (Virovitica-Podravina County)
Vukovar-Srijem Vukovar 2,454 km2 (947 sq mi)179,521 6,025 € Coat of arms of Vukovar-Srijem County 45°13′43″N 18°55′0″E / 45.22861°N 18.91667°E / 45.22861; 18.91667 (Vukovar-Srijem County)
Zadar Zadar 3,646 km2 (1,408 sq mi)170,017 8,173 € Coat of arms of Zadar County 44°1′5″N 15°53′42″E / 44.01806°N 15.89500°E / 44.01806; 15.89500 (Zadar County)
Zagreb County Zagreb 3,060 km2 (1,180 sq mi)317,606 7,781 € Post-1992 coat of arms of Zagreb County 45°44′56″N 15°34′16″E / 45.74889°N 15.57111°E / 45.74889; 15.57111 (Zagreb County)
City of Zagreb[lower-alpha 1] Zagreb 641 km2 (247 sq mi)790,017 18,132 € Coat of arms of the city of Zagreb 45°49′0″N 15°59′0″E / 45.81667°N 15.98333°E / 45.81667; 15.98333 (City of Zagreb)


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 the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia after the reorganisation of 1886
County Seat Area
Population (1910)[23] Arms Geographic coordinates
Bjelovar-Križevci Bjelovar 5,048 km2 (1,949 sq mi)331,385 Coat of arms of Bjelovar-Križevci County 45°55′14″N 16°45′54″E / 45.92056°N 16.76500°E / 45.92056; 16.76500 (Bjelovar-Križevci County (historical))
Lika-Krbava Gospić 6,217 km2 (2,400 sq mi)203,973 Coat of arms of Lika-Krbava County 44°42′28″N 15°21′12″E / 44.70778°N 15.35333°E / 44.70778; 15.35333 (Lika-Krbava County (historical))
Modruš-Rijeka Ogulin 4,874 km2 (1,882 sq mi)231,354 45°19′30″N 14°58′28″E / 45.32500°N 14.97444°E / 45.32500; 14.97444 (Modruš-Rijeka County (historical))
Požega Požega 4,938 km2 (1,907 sq mi)263,690 Coat of arms of Požega County 45°22′45″N 17°31′4″E / 45.37917°N 17.51778°E / 45.37917; 17.51778 (Požega County (historical))
Syrmia Vukovar 6,848 km2 (2,644 sq mi)410,007 Coat of arms of Syrmia County 45°4′53″N 19°15′33″E / 45.08139°N 19.25917°E / 45.08139; 19.25917 (Syrmia County (historical))
Varaždin Varaždin 2,521 km2 (973 sq mi)305,558 Pre-1922 coat of arms of Varaždin County 46°15′7″N 16°11′38″E / 46.25194°N 16.19389°E / 46.25194; 16.19389 (Varaždin County (historical))
Virovitica Osijek 4,852 km2 (1,873 sq mi)269,199 Coat of arms of Virovitica County 45°38′27″N 17°51′30″E / 45.64083°N 17.85833°E / 45.64083; 17.85833 (Virovitica County (historical))
Zagreb Zagreb 7,215 km2 (2,786 sq mi)587,378 Pre-1922 coat of arms of Zagreb County 45°38′27″N 16°11′57″E / 45.64083°N 16.19917°E / 45.64083; 16.19917 (Zagreb County (historical))

See also


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


  1. The Constitution of the Republic of Croatia (consolidated text) - Croatian Parliament.Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  2. "Gospodarski profil Grada Zagreba i Zagrebačke županije" [Economic profile of the City of Zagreb and the Zagreb County] (in Croatian). Croatian Chamber of Economy. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
  3. "Zakon o područjima županija, gradova i općina u Republici Hrvatskoj" [Territories of Counties, Cities and Municipalities of the Republic of Croatia Act]. Narodne novine (in Croatian). 30 January 1997. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
  4. 1 2 3 "Zakon o područjima županija, gradova i općina u Republici Hrvatskoj" [Territories of Counties, Cities and Municipalities of the Republic of Croatia Act]. Narodne novine (in Croatian). 28 July 2006. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  5. "Popovača dobila status grada". Poslovni dnevnik (in Croatian). 12 April 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  6. 1 2 "Zakon o lokalnim izborima" [Local Elections Act]. Narodne novine (in Croatian) (144/2012). 21 December 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  7. Also city mayors and municipality presidents with deputies
  8. 1 2 "Zakon o lokalnoj i područnoj (regionalnoj) samoupravi (pročišćeni tekst)" [Local and Regional Self-Government Act (consolidated text)]. Narodne novine (in Croatian) (19/2013). 18 February 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  9. "The Croatian tax system". Croatian Tax Administration. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
  10. 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.
  11. "Croatian County Association". Retrieved 10 April 2012.
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 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. ISSN 1330-0288. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  13. 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). Školska knjiga. 5 (1–2): 131–138. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  14. "Iz povijesti Splitsko-dalmatinske županije IV." [Outline of history of the Split-Dalmatia County (4)] (in Croatian). Split-Dalmatia County. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
  15. 1 2 3 Ivo Goldstein (1996). Hrvatske županije kroz stoljeća [Croatian counties through the centuries] (in Croatian). Školska knjiga. p. 86. ISBN 9789530613676. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
  16. 1 2 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). University of Zagreb, Faculty of Political Sciences. 38 (3): 159–172. ISSN 0032-3241. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  17. Richard C. Frucht (2005). Eastern Europe: An Introduction to the People, Lands, and Culture. ABC-CLIO. p. 429. ISBN 9781576078006. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  18. Mark Biondich (2000). Stjepan Radić, the Croat Peasant Party, and the politics of mass mobilization, 1904–1928. University of Toronto Press. p. 11. ISBN 9780802082947. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  19. "Zakon o područjima županija, gradova i općina u Republici Hrvatskoj" [Territories of Counties, Cities and Municipalities of the Republic of Croatia Act]. Narodne novine (in Croatian). 30 December 1992. Archived from the original on 28 August 2013. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  20. "Nacionalno izviješće Hrvatska" [Croatian National Report] (PDF) (in Croatian). Council of Europe. January 2010. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  21. 1 2 "Counties, surface area, population, towns, municipalities and settlements, 2011 census". Croatian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
  22. "Gross domestic product for Republic of Croatia, statistical regions at level 2 and counties, 2011". Croatian Bureau of Statistics. 14 February 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  23. 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). University of Zagreb, Croatian History Institute. 24 (1): 41–56. ISSN 0353-295X. Retrieved 10 April 2012.


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