There is a total of 20 counties and 1 city in the country.
The Serb-Croat-Slovene Kingdom was divided into counties between 1918 and 1922 and into oblasts between 1922 and 1929. With the formation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929, most of the territory of the former Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia became a part of the Sava Banate.
In socialist Yugoslavia, 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.
Present-day counties were introduced in the 1990 Constitution of Croatia, and have only slightly changed since.
Each county has an assembly (županijska skupština) which is composed of representatives elected by popular vote, using party-list proportional representation, for four-year terms. The county assembly elects the executive county leadership, decides on the yearly budget, the county properties etc.
The leader of a county is a župan (sometimes translated as "prefect"), who has one or two deputies each called a dožupan. The župan presides over the county's executive government (županijsko poglavarstvo), and represents the county in external affairs.
|Istria County||Istarska županija|
|Primorje-Gorski Kotar||Primorsko-goranska županija|
|Zagreb County||Zagrebačka županija|
|Zagreb town||Grad Zagreb|
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.