Administrative divisions of Romania

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Romania's administration is relatively centralized and administrative subdivisions are therefore fairly simplified.


According to the Constitution of Romania, its territory is organized administratively into communes , cities and counties  : [1]

Below communal or town level, there are no further formal administrative subdivisions. However, communes are divided into villages (which have no administration of their own). There are 12,957 villages in Romania. The only exception is Bucharest , which has six sectors, each with an administration of its own.


Divisions of Wallachia, 1601-1718 Tara Romaneasca judete 1601-1718.svg
Divisions of Wallachia, 1601-1718
Divisions of Moldavia, 1601-1718 Moldova judete 1601-1718.jpg
Divisions of Moldavia, 1601-1718
Divisions of Transylvania, 1606-1660 Transylvanian Principality.svg
Divisions of Transylvania, 1606-1660

The earliest organization into județe of the Principalities of Wallachia, [3] respectively ținuturi of Moldavia, dates back at least to the early 15th century. Each județ, respectively ținut, was ruled by a jude, respectively pârcălab, an officially appointed person who had administrative and judicial functions in a manner inspired from the organization of the late Byzantine Empire. Transylvania, when it was part of the historic Kingdom of Hungary (in the Middle Ages), an independent Principality or a Habsburg domain (in the modern era until World War I) was divided into royal counties (Latin:comitatus), headed by comes (royal counts) with administrative and judicial functions. The term județ became used in Romanian universally for all principalities since mid-19th century.

Counties of Romania, 1864-1878 Romania administrative divisions, 1864.svg
Counties of Romania, 1864-1878
Counties of Romania, 1878-1913 Romania Judete Antebelice (RO).svg
Counties of Romania, 1878-1913

After modern Romania was formed in 1859 through the union of Wallachia and rump Moldavia, and then extended in 1918 through the union of Transylvania, as well as Bukovina and Bessarabia (parts of Moldavia temporarily acquired by the Habsburgs, 1775–1918, respectively the Russian Tsars, 1812–1917), the administrative division was modernized using the French departments system as an example. With the exception of the half of the Communist period, this system remained in place. Since 1864, for each județ there exists a prefect (from the Latin praefectus ), a subordinate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, who is the representative of the government in the county, and the head of the local administration in the areas not delegated to local authorities. [4] Until 1948, each județ was further divided into a number of plăși (singular plasă), with each administered by a pretor (from the Latin praetor ), appointed by the prefect. [5]

In 1913, as a result of the Second Balkan War, Romania acquired Southern Dobruja from Bulgaria, integrating this historical region within Romania's borders until 1940. In 1923 Romania adopted a new Constitution, and in 1927 it uniformized the traditional administrative systems of Transylvania, Bukovina and Bessarabia with that of the Romanian Old Kingdom. County borders were kept largely intact, with only a couple minor adjustments, as a total of 71 județe existed between 1927 and 1938.

In 1938, King Carol II modified the Constitution, and after that the law of administration of the Romanian territory. Ten "ținuturi" (approx. translation: "lands") were created, ruled by "Rezidenți Regali" (approx. translation "Royal Residents"), appointed directly by the Monarch. The ținuturi represented another layer of administration between counties and the country; county borders were not erased. [4] [6] But, due to World War II, the Second Vienna Award, the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact and the loss of territory that Romania suffered, this style of administration did not last, the administration at the "județ" level being reintroduced back until the establishment of communism in 1945–1947.

During World War II, the territory of Romania suffered very significant modifications. In 1940, Soviet Union occupied Bessarabia, northern Bukovina, and Herza region which after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, would become part of Republic of Moldova and of Ukraine. Between 1941 and 1944, these territories together with Transnistria, were administered by Romania briefly, as the country was governed by a military dictatorship allied with Nazi Germany. Transnistria consisted of formerly proper Soviet territory between Dniester and Southern Bug rivers. Nowadays, most of it is in Ukraine, with small parts in the Republic of Moldova (current Transnistria). This territory was kept under Romanian military occupation, and was not annexed to Romania consisted of a further 13 counties.

Current counties imposed over the inter-war counties Romania Counties 1930-2008.svg
Current counties imposed over the inter-war counties

After the war, the Communist Party took over the administration of the country. In 1950, the party changed the administration model to the Russian model (regions and raions), but it reverted to the current system in 1968, although county borders were quite different from the interbelic period. [7] In 1981 the former counties of Ilfov and Ialomița were re-organised into the present-day counties of Giurgiu, Călărași, Ialomița and Ilfov. The county borders introduced in 1968 are largely in place, but administrative reform during the 1990s has devolved the functions of different authorities in line with transition from a totalitarian communist system to a modern democracy. The only territorial adjustment after 1989 occurred in 1995, when Ilfov County was formed. Before that it was a dependency of the Municipality of Bucharest (Sectorul Agricol Ilfov).

Current status

NUTS 1 regions of Romania Romania NUTS 1.svg
NUTS 1 regions of Romania
NUTS 2 regions of Romania Regiuni de dezvoltare.svg
NUTS 2 regions of Romania
NUTS 3 regions of Romania Romanian license plate codes.png
NUTS 3 regions of Romania

Eight regional divisions (called development regions) were created in 1998 in order to better co-ordinate regional development as Romania progressed towards accession to the European Union, and consist of several counties each. These correspond to NUTS II-level divisions in European Union member states, but do not actually have an administrative status and do not have a legislative or executive council or government. As of 2009, Romania is divided into 41 counties and one municipality which are assigned as NUTS III-level divisions. Currently, Romania has no NUTS-4 units, the counties being composed directly of cities (some of which with municipality status) and communes.

As in all modern democracies, the political power in Romania is divided into three independent branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. The prefect and his administration have only executive prerogatives. However, the territorial districts of the Romanian judicial system overlap with county borders, thus avoiding further complication. [4] At the same time with local elections (of mayors and councilors for the cities and communes), a Consiliu județean (County Council) is elected for each county. From 2008 to 2016 a President of the County Council was also elected by direct vote, from 2016 he or she has been (as prior to 2008) elected by a Council. As of now, the legislative powers of county councils are quite reduced, but there are plans for more decentralization. (These plans, however, call for introduction of Regional Councils for the 8 development regions of the NUTS-2 level.)

Future developments

As of 2010 there have been several proposals for the administrative reorganization of Romania made by the presidential commission tasked with the analysis of the political and constitutional regime. [8] Most of these recommendations aim for the partial reestablishment of the counties in their pre-1950 form. The counties will be grouped into several regions (9 to 15) based on common historical and economic characteristics (NUTS II level). The regions will be in their turn clustered into 4-6 macroregions (NUTS I level). Furthermore, a NUTS IV level division, called plasă or canton will probably be added in order to meet the EU statistical and administrative requirements. [9]

Another proposal, based on 15 autonomous euro-regions (amongst them one ethnic based region with a consistent Hungarian majority made of the existing Mureș, Harghita and Covasna counties) grouped into 5 statistical macroregions (NUTS I), was made by the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR). [10]

Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS)

For statistical and development purposes, Romania, in the NUTS scheme, is divided into:

An exception to this structure is the Municipality of Bucharest, which is a secondary division (rather than a tertiary division like other municipalities) and is officially divided into six sectors, each sector having a local government and council.

The eight development regions (specific territorial entities without administrative status or legal personality) represent the framework for collecting specific statistical data, according to the European regulations issued by Eurostat for the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) II territorial level. According to the Emergency Government Ordinance No 75/2001 on the functioning of the National Institute for Statistics, eight Directorates General for regional statistics have been created, and together with the 34 county directorates for statistics, aim at developing regional statistics. Officially, the eight regions are Nord-Est (North-East), Sud-Est (South-East), Sud - Muntenia (South - Muntenia), Sud-Vest Oltenia (South-West Oltenia), Vest (West), Nord-Vest (North-West), Centru (Centre), and București - Ilfov (Bucharest - Ilfov). The criteria used by NCS for delimiting the regions is a combination of geographical location and homogeneity based on population density. Alternative historical names are also used, but remain unofficial.

notypenamearea, km2population (mid-2007 official estimate)municipalitiesother citiescommunesvillages
1Nord-Est development region36,85017295062,414
1county Bacău County 6,621719,8443585491
2county Botoșani County 4,986454,1672571333
3county Iași County 5,476825,1002393418
4county Neamț County 5,896566,0592378344
5county Suceava County 8,553705,87851198379
6county Vaslui County 5,318455,5943281449
2Sud-Est development region35,76211243551,448
7county Brăila County 4,766365,6281340140
8county Buzău County 6,103488,7632382475
9county Constanța County 7,071718,3303958189
10county Galați County 4,466614,4492261180
11county Tulcea County 8,499250,6411446133
12county Vrancea County 4,857392,6192368331
3Sud - Muntenia development region34,45316325192,019
13county Argeș County 6,826644,2363495576
14county Călărași County 5,088315,1872350160
15county Dâmbovița County 4,054533,3302582353
16county Giurgiu County 3,526283,4081251167
17county Ialomița County 4,453290,5633459127
18county Prahova County 4,716821,01321290405
19county Teleorman County 5,790413,0643292231
4Sud-Vest Oltenia development region29,21211294082,070
20county Dolj County 7,414712,18734104378
21county Gorj County 5,602381,6432761411
22county Mehedinți County 4,933298,7412361344
23county Olt County 5,498475,70226104377
24county Vâlcea County 5,765411,5762978560
5Vest development region32,03412302811,327
25county Arad County 7,754457,7131968270
26county Caraș-Severin County 8,520327,5792669287
27county Hunedoara County 7,063472,2847755457
28county Timiș County 8,697666,8662889313
6Nord-Vest development region34,15915284031,800
29county Bihor County 7,544594,1314691430
30county Bistrița-Năsăud County 5,355316,6891358235
31county Cluj County 6,674692,3165175420
32county Maramureș County 6,304513,00021163214
33county Satu Mare County 4,418366,2702459220
34county Sălaj County 3,864243,1571357281
7Centru development region34,10020373571,788
35county Alba County 6,242376,0864767656
36county Brașov County 5,363593,9284648149
37county Covasna County 3,710223,3642340122
38county Harghita County 6,639325,6114558235
39county Mureș County 6,714581,7594791464
40county Sibiu County 5,432423,1562953162
8București - Ilfov development region1,821183291
41county Ilfov County 1,583294,094-83291
42municipality Bucharest 2381,931,8381---

See also

Related Research Articles

The 41 județe and the municipality of Bucharest comprise the official administrative divisions of Romania. They also represent the European Union' s NUTS-3 geocode statistical subdivision scheme of Romania.

Administrative divisions of Moldova

According to the Moldovan law on territorial administrative organisation, Moldova is divided administratively into the following administrative territorial units: districts, cities/towns and villages. The administrative territorial organization of Moldova is made on 2 levels:

  1. villages (communes), sectors and cities/towns (municipii) constitute the first level,
  2. districts, Chișinău municipality, Bălți municipality and Bender municipality constitute the second level.
Ilfov County County of Romania

Ilfov is the county that surrounds Bucharest, the capital of Romania. It used to be largely rural, but, after the fall of Communism, many of the county's villages and communes developed into high-income commuter towns, which act like suburbs or satellites of Bucharest. The gentrification of the county is continuing, with many towns in Ilfov, such as Otopeni, having some of the highest GDP per capita levels in the country.

The history of the Jews in Bessarabia, a historical region in Eastern Europe, dates back hundreds of years.

Development regions of Romania

The development regions of Romania refer to the eight regional divisions created in Romania in 1998 in order to better co-ordinate regional development as Romania progressed towards accession to the European Union. The development regions correspond to NUTS II-level divisions in European Union member states. Despite becoming increasingly significant in regional development projects, Romania's development regions do not actually have an administrative status and do not have a legislative or executive council or government. Rather, they serve a function for allocating European Union PHARE funds for regional development, as well as for collection of regional statistics. They also co-ordinate a range of regional development projects and became members of the Committee of the Regions when Romania joined the EU on January 1, 2007.

Historical regions of Romania

The historical regions of Romania are located in Central, Southeastern, and Eastern Europe. Romania came into being through the unification of two principalities, Wallachia and Moldavia in 1862. The new unitary state extended over further regions at various times during the late 19th and 20th centuries, including Dobruja in 1878, and Transylvania in 1918.

A județ is an administrative division in Romania, and was also used from 1940 to 1947 in the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic and from 1998 to 2003 in Moldova.

Lăpușna County (Romania) County in Romania

Lăpușna County was a county Romanian: județ) in the Kingdom of Romania.

Transnistria Governorate

The Transnistria Governorate was a Romanian-administered territory between the Dniester and Southern Bug, conquered by the Axis Powers from the Soviet Union during Operation Barbarossa and occupied from 19 August 1941 to 29 January 1944. Limited in the west by the Dniester river, in the east by the Southern Bug river, and in the south by the Black Sea, it comprised the present-day region of Transnistria and territories further east, including the Black Sea port of Odessa, which became the administrative capital of Transnistria during World War II.

Ținutul Argeș Land in Romania

Ținutul Argeș was one of the ten Romanian ținuturi ("lands") founded in 1938, after King Carol II initiated an institutional reform by modifying the 1923 Constitution and the law of territorial administration. Named after the Argeș River and extending over historical areas of Wallachia and parts of Transylvania, it had its capital in the city of Bucharest. Ținutul Argeș ceased to exist following the territorial losses of Romania and the king's abdication in 1940.

Ținutul Dunării Land in Romania

Ținutul Dunării was one of the ten Romanian ținuturi ("lands") founded in 1938, after King Carol II initiated an institutional reform by modifying the 1923 Constitution and the law of territorial administration. Named after the Danube River and extending over historical areas of Moldavia, parts of Northern Dobruja, and an area of Wallachia around Brăila. Its capital was the city of Galați. Ținutul Dunării ceased to exist following the Soviet occupation of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina and the king's abdication in 1940.

Ținutul Suceava Region in Romania

Ținutul Suceava was one of the ten Romanian administrative regions (ținuturi) created on August 14, 1938, as a part of King Carol II's administrative reform. From August 14, 1938, to June 28, 1940, it included the whole of Bukovina, a county of Bessarabia (Hotin) and a county of Moldavia (Dorohoi). It was named after the river Suceava. Its administrative capital was the city of Cernăuți. After its northern part was ceded to the USSR on June 28, 1940, Ținutul Suceava was restructured on September 16, 1940, when Baia county became a part of the region, and abolished only a few days latter, on September 22, 1940. Ținutul Suceava had two governors: Gheorghe Alexianu and Gheorghe Flondor. Alexianu's mandate was marked by the suppression of ethnic minority and Jewish rights.

The union of Bessarabia with Romania was proclaimed on April 9 [O.S. March 27] 1918 by Sfatul Țării, the legislative body of the Moldavian Democratic Republic. This state had the same borders of the region of Bessarabia, which was annexed by the Russian Empire following the Treaty of Bucharest of 1812 and organized first as an Oblast and later as a Governorate. Under Russian rule, many of the native Tatars were expelled from parts of Bessarabia and replaced with Moldavians, Wallachians, Bulgarians, Ukrainians, Greeks, Russians, Lipovans, Cossacks, Gagauzes and other peoples, although colonization was not limited to formerly Tatar-inhabited lands. Russia also tried to integrate the region by imposing the Russian language in administration and restricting education in other languages.

Counties of Romania Wikimedia list article

A total of 41 counties, along with the municipality of Bucharest, constitute the official administrative divisions of Romania. They represent the country's NUTS-3 statistical subdivisions within the European Union and each of them serves as the local level of government within its borders. Most counties are named after a major river, while some are named after notable cities within them, such as the county seat.

In the NUTS codes of Romania (RO), the three levels are:

București - Ilfov Region in Romania

The București – Ilfov development region is a development region in Romania, encompassing the national capital, Bucharest, as well as the surrounding Ilfov County. As other development regions, it does not have any administrative powers, its main function being to co-ordinate regional development projects and manage funds from the European Union. It is also used as an entity in regional statistical analysis at the European Union NUTS-II level.

Administrative divisions of the Kingdom of Romania (1941–44)

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Development of the administrative divisions of Ukraine

Administrative divisions development in Ukraine reviews the history of changes in the administrative divisions of Ukraine, in chronological order.

A new territorial division of the Romanian People's Republic was introduced in 1950. Following the Soviet model, a structure of regions and raions (districts) was created, replacing the former system of județe (counties) and their subdivisions. Further changes were implemented during the 1950s and 1960s.

Bukovina Governorate Romanian autonomous province during World War II

The Bukovina Governorate was an administrative unit of Romania during the Second World War.


  1. Constitution of Romania, Title I, article 3
  2. 2017 Romanian Statistical Yearbook, p. 17
  3. "De la sat la județ în istoria Olteniei | Vertical". Retrieved 2010-07-08.
  4. 1 2 3 "Instituția Prefectului județul Argeș". Archived from the original on 2012-05-20. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
  5. Sorin Damian. "Județul Buzău". Archived from the original on 2009-02-14. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
  6. (in Romanian) Ioan Scurtu, Theodora Stănescu-Stanciu, Georgiana Margareta Scurtu, Istoria românilor între anii 1918-1940: VIII. Viața politică în perioada februarie 1938-septembrie 1940 ("The History of the Romanians in 1918-1940): IV. Political Life in the February 1938-September 1940 Period" Archived November 16, 2007, at the Wayback Machine : "Decret-lege pentru reforma electorală" ("Law Decree for Electoral Reform") Archived 2007-07-01 at the Wayback Machine
  7. "Istoria Banatului :: În linii mari". 1944-08-23. Archived from the original on 2013-05-21. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
  8. "Microsoft Word - RAPORTUL STANOMIR.doc" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
  9. Archived from the original on May 23, 2014. Retrieved March 24, 2010.Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. Archived from the original on April 21, 2010. Retrieved March 24, 2010.Missing or empty |title= (help)