Croatia is administratively divided into 20 counties and the City of Zagreb, which has the status of a county. Each county has particular competence for general education, health, land use, economic development, transport and its infrastructure, and the development of educational and cultural institutions.
The basic units of regional self-government are the counties (županija in Croatian). The present administrative territorial division of the country was introduced in 1997, when the 1992 division was changed. Smaller administrative territorial units within counties are cities/towns in urban areas, and municipalities in other areas. According to the 2006 Act, Croatia has 127 towns/cities and 428 municipalities.
The county, as a unit of territorial division in Croatia, has a long history. Counties are mentioned as early as the 10th century, first in the southern part of the country, and later in the north. They continued to exist up to the 20th century, in different numbers and with changing territorial ranges, means of organisation and powers. After the demilitarisation of the Military Border in 1881, there were 8 counties in the Kingdom of Croatia and Slavonia: Modruš-Rijeka, Lika-Krbava, Zagreb, Varaždin, Bjelovar-Križevci, Požega, Virovitica and Srijem.