Counties of Croatia

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Sorin Cosoveanu alerted me to the issuance of final figures from the 2011 census.

Grad Zagreb, a city with special administrative status similar to a county's, was merged with Zagreb county from 1995 to 1997. The ISO 3166-2 standard has been consistently behind the times. When the first version, ISO/DIS 3166-2 (draft international standard), appeared in fall 1996, it showed 21 counties in Croatia, and Grad Zagreb was one of them. In the approved standard, dated 1998-12-15, only 20 counties were listed; Grad Zagreb had been dropped. The latest update appeared in ISO 3166-2 Newsletter Number I-2, published on 2002-05-21. Grad Zagreb has reappeared on the list, now with the status of city rather than county. It has been assigned the same ISO code that it had in the draft standard, 21. This puts ISO back in touch with reality.

Newsletter I-2 also corrects the spelling of three counties. I had already corrected one of them on this page; now I've changed the other two.

Change Notice 4 to FIPS PUB 10-4 is dated February 25, 2000. It shows Croatia divided into twenty županije (counties) and one grad (city).

The table below combines data from both the FIPS and ISO standards.

Country overview: 

Short nameCROATIA
ISO codeHR
LanguageCroatian (hr)
Time zone+1 ~


The area constituting modern Croatia was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1900. It was distributed among the Austrian provinces of Coastland and Dalmatia, and the Hungarian province of Croatia and Slavonia. In the aftermath of World War I, it was allocated to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, which soon became Yugoslavia. The peace treaties didn't settle the border between Italy and Yugoslavia, which was eventually negotiated in 1924. Italy received all of the Istrian peninsula (including Rijeka, which had been an independent city from 1918 to 1924), an enclave around Zadar (Zara), and two groups of Adriatic islands: in the north, Cres (Cherso), Lošinj (Lussin), and some smaller islands; in the south, Lastovo (Lagosta), Palagruža (Pelagosa), and others. Yugoslavia was occupied by the axis powers in World War II. When the war ended, Istria, Zadar, and Lastovo were restored to Yugoslavia. Trieste became an independent city in 1947. Its territory was divided into a northern A Zone, under British-American military administration, and a B Zone run by Yugoslavia. In 1954, the A Zone was annexed to Italy, and the B Zone to Yugoslavia; most of it went to Croatia. Croatia was one of the six constituent republics of Yugoslavia from 1946 until the federation broke up. Its claim to independence was recognized by the European Union on 1992-01-15.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Kroatien
  2. Dutch: Kroatië, Republiek Kroatië (formal)
  3. English: Republic of Croatia (formal)
  4. Finnish: Kroatia
  5. French: Croatie, République f de Croatie f (formal)
  6. German: Kroatien n
  7. Icelandic: Króatía
  8. Italian: Croazia f
  9. Norwegian: Kroatia, Republikken Kroatia (formal)
  10. Portuguese: Croácia, República f da Croácia f (formal)
  11. Croatian: Hrvatska, Republika Hrvatska (formal)
  12. Russian: Кроация (obsolete), Республика Хорватия (formal)
  13. Spanish: Croacia
  14. Swedish: Kroatien
  15. Turkish: Hırvatistan Cumhuriyeti (formal)

Origin of name: 

perhaps from Slavonic khrebet: mountain range

Primary subdivisions: 

Croatia is divided into twenty županije (sing. županija: counties) and one grad (city).

Name Old name HASC ISO FIPS NUTS Post Pop-2011 Pop-2001 Area(km.²)Area(mi.²)Capital
Bjelovarska-Bilogorska Bjelovar-Bilagora HR.BB07HR01HR02143119,764 133,084 2,6401,019Bjelovar
Brodsko-Posavska Slavonski Brod-Posavina HR.SP12HR02HR02435158,575 176,765 2,030784Slavonski Brod
Dubrovačko-Neretvanska Dubrovnik-Neretva HR.DN19HR03HR03720122,568 122,870 1,781688Dubrovnik
Grad Zagreb Grad Zagreb HR.GZ21HR21HR01110790,017 779,145 641247Zagreb
Istarska Istra HR.IS18HR04HR03652208,055 206,344 2,8131,086Pazin
Karlovačka Karlovac HR.KA04HR05HR02747128,899 141,787 3,6261,400Karlovac
Koprivničko-KriževačkaKoprivnica-KriževciHR.KK06HR06HR01548115,584 124,467 1,748675Koprivnica
Krapinsko-Zagorska Krapina-Zagorje HR.KZ02HR07HR01349132,892 142,432 1,229475Krapina
Ličko-Senjska Lika-Senj HR.LS09HR08HR0325350,927 53,677 5,3532,067Gospić
Međimurska Međimurje HR.ME20HR09HR01640113,804 118,426 729281Čakovec
Osječko-Baranjska Osijek-Baranja HR.OB14HR10HR02531305,032 330,506 4,1551,604Osijek
Požeško-Slavonska Požega-Slavonija HR.PS11HR11HR0233478,034 85,831 1,823704Požega
Primorsko-Goranska Primorje-Gorski Kotar HR.PG08HR12HR03151296,195 305,505 3,5881,385Rijeka
Šibensko-Kninska Šibenik HR.SB15HR13HR03422109,375 112,891 2,9841,152Šibenik
Sisačko-Moslavačka Sisak-Moslavina HR.SM03HR14HR02844172,439 185,387 4,4681,725Sisak
Splitsko-Dalmatinska Split-Dalmacia HR.SD17HR15HR03521454,798 463,676 4,5401,753Split
Varaždinska Varaždin HR.VA05HR16HR01442175,951 184,769 1,262487Varaždin
Virovitičko-Podravska Virovitica-Podravina HR.VP10HR17HR0223384,836 93,389 2,024781Virovitica
Vukovarsko-Srijemska Vukovar-Srijem HR.VS16HR18HR02632179,521 204,768 2,454947Vukovar
Zadarska Zadar-Knin HR.ZD13HR19HR03323170,017 162,045 3,6461,408Zadar
Zagrebačka Zagreb HR.ZG01HR20HR01210317,606 309,696 3,0601,181Zagreb
21 divisions 4,284,8894,437,46056,59421,851
  • Name: County name as given in ISO 3166-2, December 1998, and in Change Notice 4 to
    FIPS PUB 10-4, 2000-02-25. These names are in adjective form (modifying županija).
  • Old name: County name as given in ISO DIS 3166-2, late 1996. (In some cases the
    county was subsequently modified, as explained below.) These are the noun forms.
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: County codes from ISO 3166-2. For full identification in a global context, prefix "HR-" to
    the code (ex: HR-18 represents Istra). The code shown for Grad Zagreb comes from the
    draft standard of 1996.
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4, a U.S. government standard.
  • NUTS: Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics.
  • Post: Croatia uses five-digit postal codes. The first two digits represent the county.
    Note: postal codes for Croatian addresses can be identified by prefixing them with "HR-".
  • Pop-2011: 2011-03-31 census (source [8]).
  • Pop-2001: 2001-03-31 census (source [5]).

Further subdivisions:

Source [7] describes the "Administrative and Territorial Constitution" of Croatia. According to its definitions of Županija (county), Opčina (municipality), Grad (town), and Naselje (settlement), if I understand them correctly, the secondary administrative subdivisions of Croatia are towns and municipalities. When a municipality becomes sufficiently populous or important, it becomes a town. There were 429 municipalities and 127 towns as of 2006-07-28. The tertiary subdivisions of Croatia are settlements. There were 6,749 settlements as of 2006-07-28.

The first four characters of a county's NUTS code determines the NUTS-2 region it belongs to, as follows: HR01 - Sjeverozapadna Hrvatska (Northwest Croatia); HR02 - Sredisnja i Istocna (Panonska) Hrvatska; HR03 - Jadranska Hrvatska.

Territorial extent: 

Croatia owns almost all of the islands along the Adriatic coast of the Balkan Peninsula. Near the center of the gulf, the Palagruža group belongs to Croatia, while Pianosa belongs to Italy. Bosnia has one outlet to the sea, along a 10-km. stretch of coast near Neum, between Dubrovnik and Split. This divides the Croatian coastline into two separate sections, but when Croatian islands and territorial waters are taken into account, the two sections are connected.

The UN LOCODE page  for Croatia lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.

Origins of names: 

  1. Dalmacia: originally a Roman province, from ethnic name Dalmatae
  2. Dubrovnik: from Croatian dubrova: oak grove
  3. Grad Zagreb: = City of Zagreb
  4. Istra: apparently named in the mistaken belief that a branch of the Danube (Ister in Latin) lay nearby
  5. Rijeka: Croatian for river (likewise, fiume is Italian for river)
  6. Split: from Ancient Greek aspalathos: a thorny bush

Change history: 

A more complete history can be found in source [6].

  1. 1929: As part of Yugoslavia, Croatia was spread across several banovine, and had no county subdivisions.
  2. 1939: Croatia became a separate banovina named Hrvatska.
  3. 1941-04-10: Independent State of Croatia was proclaimed. While it lasted, it was divided into 22 counties and the capital city Zagreb, which had status equal to a county.
  4. 1946-05-28: As one of the six republics that constituted Yugoslavia, Croatia was divided into local national committees.
  5. 1952: Under the Law on the Division of the National Republic of Croatia in Districts, Towns and Municipalities, Croatia was divided into 89 kotari (districts), which were subdivided into 737 municipalities.
  6. 1955: Number of districts had been reduced to 27: Bjelovar, Čakovec, Daruvar, Dubrovnik, Gospić, Karlovac, Koprivnica, Krapina, Križevci, Kutina, Makarska, Našice, Nova Gradiška, Ogulin, Osijek, Pula, Rijeka, Sisak, Slavonski Brod, Slavonska Požega, Split, Šibenik, Varaždin, Vinkovci, Virovitica, Zadar, and Zagreb.
  7. 1962: Number of districts reduced to 9.
  8. 1967: Number of districts reduced to 8.
  9. 1991-06-25: Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia. It was recognized by the European community on 1992-01-15 and by the U.S. on 1992-04-07. At that time, it was subdivided into 115 opčine (communes).
  10. 1992-12-30: Croatia was reorganized into 21 županije (counties), subdivided into 419 communes, 70 cities, and two autonomous districts (Glina and Knin) in ethnic Serb areas.
  11. 1995-09-20: Grad Zagreb (a city with county status) was merged into Zagreb county.
  12. 1997-02-07: Grad Zagreb was split from Zagreb county again. An area around Knin was transferred from Zadar-Knin county to Šibenik county, whose names were consequently changed to Zadar and Šibenik-Knin. Minor changes were made to secondary divisions, including the elimination of the autonomous districts. Official names of counties were rephrased: the word for county was moved from initial to final position. Example: Županija Istarska became Istarska Županija.
  13. 2013-07-01: Croatia joined the European Union.

Other names of subdivisions: 

  1. Dalmacia: Dalmatia (variant); Dalmatie (French); Dalmazia (Italian)
  2. Dubrovnik: Ragusa (Italian)
  3. Istra: Istria (Italian); Istrie (French)
  4. Osijek: Esseg, Eszek (Hungarian)
  5. Pula: Pola (Italian)
  6. Rijeka: Fiume (Italian)
  7. Šibenik: Sebenico (Italian)
  8. Sisak: Saiszek (Hungarian)
  9. Split: Spalato (Italian)
  10. Varaždin: Varasd (Hungarian)
  11. Virovitica: Veröcze (Hungarian)
  12. Zadar: Zara (Italian)
  13. Zagreb: Agram (German); Zagabria (Italian)


  1. [1] Mardešić, Petar, and Zvonimir Dugački. Geografski Atlas Jugoslavije. Zagreb: Znanje, 1961.
  2. [2] Mardešić, Petar, and Oto Oppitz. Jugoslavenski Leksikografski Zavod. Zagreb, 1969.
  3. [3] Territory and Administration in Europe. Robert Bennett, ed. Pinter Publishers, London and New York, 1989.
  4. [4] Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States 1992. Europa Publications Ltd., London, 1992.
  5. [5] Central Bureau of Statistics  (retrieved 2005-06).
  6. [6] Željko Heimer posted a more comprehensive history of the subdivisions of Croatia at, which is a dead link. However, the Internet Archive still has a copy of it at Subdivisions of Croatia  (retrieved 2001-02-10).
  7. [7] Administrative and Territorial Constitution , extracted from the 2008 Statistical Yearbook, Croatian Central Bureau of Statistics (retrieved 2009-12-21).
  8. [8] Central Bureau of Statistics  (retrieved 2013-02-12).
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