Counties of Croatia
  • Also known as:
  • Hrvatske županije
Vukovar-Srijem CountyOsijek-Baranja CountyBrod-Posavina CountyPožega-Slavonia CountyVirovitica-Podravina CountyBjelovar-Bilogora CountyKoprivnica-Križevci CountyMeđimurje CountyVaraždin CountyKrapina-Zagorje CountyZagreb CountyCity of ZagrebSisak-Moslavina CountyKarlovac CountyIstria CountyPrimorje-Gorski Kotar CountyLika-Senj CountyZadar CountyŠibenik-Knin CountySplit-Dalmatia CountyDubrovnik-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
CategoryUnitary state
LocationRepublic of Croatia
Number20 Counties + Zagreb City
Populations50,927 (Lika-Senj) – 790,017 (Zagreb)
Areas640 km2 (247 sq mi) (Zagreb) – 5,350 km2 (2,067 sq mi) (Lika-Senj)

The counties (Croatian: županije) of Croatia 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)[a] 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 based on a public competition.[7]

In each county exists a State Administration Office (Croatian: Ured državne uprave) which performs the tasks of the central government (under Ministry of Public Administration). Head of State Administration Office (predstojnik Ureda državne uprave), who is a university graduate in law, is appointed by the Croatian Government (in the City of Zagreb the mayor is responsible for the state administration). These offices ("administrations") are not subordinate to the county assembly or county prefect, but rather the direct presence of the state (similar to governorates or prefectures in certain countries).

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.[8][9]

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 documents concerning 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.[7]

The Croatian County Association (Croatian: Hrvatska zajednica županija) 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]


Approximate positions of the first counties of 10th century Croatia, overlaid on a map of modern Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina
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 the local authority.

The following fourteen are usually listed as the oldest counties of Croatia, dating back to the 10th century:[13][14]

The ban ruled over three župas Krbava, Lika, and Gacka in Western Croatia, approximately today's Lika-Senj County territory. In the same period, the counties in Lower Pannonia ("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][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.[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][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. During the second half of the 19th-century Croatian counties went through various reorganizations (1848–1850, 1850–1854, 1854–1861, 1861–1870, 1870–1874, 1874–1886, 1886–1914) that also reflected the position of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia within the Austrian Empire (after 1867 the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy); 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,[11][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 (Croatian županijska skupština) with the wealthiest taxpayers comprising half the assembly members and elected members comprising the remaining half. Supreme prefect (Croatian veliki župan) was appointed by the king and county officials by the ban. Managing board of each county had 6 members elected by the county assembly, while the remaining members were county officials ex officio (supreme prefect, viceprefect, county health supervisor etc.). Counties were divided into districts (Croatian kotari as government units similar to Austrian Bezirke), while municipalities (Croatian općine) and cities (Croatian gradovi) were units of local self-government.[11]

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] Socialist Republic of Croatia, as a constituent part of post-World War II Yugoslavia had approximately 100 municipalities as main governmental units and local government entities. 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] After the end of the Croatian War of Independence and during the UNTAES process in eastern Croatia, local Serb population and representatives unsuccessfully proposed various initiatives to preserve the former rebel region as one territorial unit within Croatia, including the proposal to create a new Serb county in the region.[20]

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).[21]

Lists of counties


See also: List of Croatian counties by GDP

Counties of Croatia as defined in 2006
County Seat Area[22] Population (2021)[23] GDP per capita (2019)[24] Arms Geographic coordinates
Bjelovar-Bilogora Bjelovar 2,640 km2 (1,020 sq mi) 102,295 07986€9,132
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) 130,782 06607€8,211
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) 115,862 13277€14,673
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) 195,794 15570€15,960
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) 112,596 08301€9,510
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) 101,661 08711€10,110
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) 120,942 07919€8,954
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) 42,893 08878€10,725
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 CČakovecČakovec 0,730729 km2 (281 sq mi) 105,863 10302€11,476
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) 259,481 08684€10,232
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) 64,420 06620€8,217
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) 266,503 14797€15,232
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)
Sisak-Moslavina Sisak 4,468 km2 (1,725 sq mi) 140,549 07868€9,706
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) 425,412 09636€10,759
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)
SŠibenikŠibenik-Knin SŠibenikŠibenik 2,984 km2 (1,152 sq mi) 96,624 09713€11,325
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)
Varaždin Varaždin 1,262 km2 (487 sq mi) 160,264 10899€12,112
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) 70,660 06525€7,869
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-Syrmia Vukovar 2,454 km2 (947 sq mi) 144,438 06730€8,606
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) 160,340 10803€11,544
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) 301,206 09710€10,769
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)
Zagreb, the city ofCity of Zagreb[b] Zagreb 0,641641 km2 (247 sq mi) 769,944 22695€23,742
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)


Counties of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia, and location of the kingdom within Austria-Hungary (inset, orange)
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)[25] 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
Modrus-Fiume coatofarms.jpg
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. ^ Also city mayors and municipality presidents with deputies.
  2. ^ 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]


  1. ^ The Constitution of the Republic of Croatia (consolidated text) - Croatian Parliament Archived 2015-11-02 at the Wayback Machine.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. Archived from the original on 7 May 2006. 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. ^ 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]. 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. ^ a b "Zakon o lokalnim izborima" [Local Elections Act]. Narodne novine (in Croatian). No. 144/2012. 21 December 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Zakon o lokalnoj i područnoj (regionalnoj) samoupravi (pročišćeni tekst)" [Local and Regional Self-Government Act (consolidated text)]. Narodne novine (in Croatian). No. 19/2013. 18 February 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  8. ^ "The Croatian tax system". Croatian Tax Administration. Archived from the original on 15 June 2012. 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. ^ "Home". Croatian County Association. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  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. ISSN 1330-0288. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  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). Školska knjiga. 5 (1–2): 131–138. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 August 2019. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  13. ^ "Iz povijesti Splitsko-dalmatinske županije IV" [Outline of history of the Split-Dalmatia County (4)] (in Croatian). Split-Dalmatia County. Archived from the original on 3 September 2010. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
  14. ^ Budak, Neven (2018). Hrvatska povijest od 550. do 1100 [Croatian history from 550 until 1100]. Leykam international. pp. 197, 199, 327. ISBN 978-953-340-061-7.
  15. ^ a b c 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. ^ 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). 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. ^ Babić, Nikica (2011). "Srpska oblast Istočna Slavonija, Baranja i Zapadni Srijem – od "Oluje" do dovršetka mirne reintegracije hrvatskog Podunavlja (prvi dio)". Scrina Slavonia. 11 (1): 393–454.
  21. ^ "Nacionalno izviješće Hrvatska" [Croatian National Report] (PDF) (in Croatian). Council of Europe. January 2010. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  22. ^ "Counties, surface area, population, towns, municipalities and settlements, 2011 census". Croatian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
  23. ^ "Priopćenja i javni pozivi - Popis stanovništva 2021".
  24. ^ Čajkušić, Suzana; Pipp, Patrik; Omerzo, Ingrid (14 February 2022). "Bruto domaći proizvod za Republiku Hrvatsku, HR NUTS 2 i županije u 2019" [Gross domestic product for the Republic of Croatia, HR NUTS 2 and counties in 2019]. Croatian Bureau of Statistics (in Croatian). Croatian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 12 September 2022.
  25. ^ 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 3 January 2019.