Counties of Romania

Last updated
Counties of Romania
Romanian: Județele României
The 41 counties of Romania and Municipality of Bucharest (clickable imagemap) Romanian license plate codes.png
The 41 counties of Romania and Municipality of Bucharest (clickable imagemap)
CategoryUnitary state
Location Romania
  • 1950–1968
Number41 (as of 1995)
Additional status
  • electoral constituency
Populations210,177 (CV) – 772,348 (IS)/1,883,425 (B)
Areas228 km2 (88 sq mi) (B)/1,583 km2 (611 sq mi) (IF) – 8,697 km2 (3,358 sq mi) (TM)
  • County Council and County Council President
  • Municipality/town/commune/sector

A total of 41 counties (Romanian : județe ), along with the municipality of Bucharest, constitute the official administrative divisions of Romania. They represent the country's NUTS-3 (Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics – Level 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.


The earliest organization into județe of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia (where they were termed ținuturi) dates back to at least the late 14th century. For most of the time since modern Romania was formed in 1859, the administrative division system has been similar to that of the French departments. The system has been changed several times since then, and the number of counties has varied over time, from the 71 județe that existed before World War II to only 39 after 1968. The current format has largely been in place since 1968 as only small changes have been made since then, the last of which was in 1997.

According to a 2011 census data from the National Institute of Statistics, the average population of Romania's 41 counties is about 445,000, with Iași County as the most populous (772,000) and Covasna County (210,000) the least. The average county's land area is 5,809 square kilometres (2,243 sq mi), with Timiș County (8,697 square kilometres (3,358 sq mi)) the largest and Ilfov County (1,583 square kilometres (611 sq mi)) the smallest. The municipality of Bucharest, which has the same administrative level as that of a county, is both more populous and much smaller than any county, with 1,883,425 people and 228 square kilometres (88 sq mi).


The 71 counties of Romania between 1925 and 1940 Romania 1930 counties.500px.svg
The 71 counties of Romania between 1925 and 1940
Current counties imposed over the inter-war counties Romania Counties 1930-2008.svg
Current counties imposed over the inter-war counties

The earliest organization into județe (for Wallachia), and ținuturi (for Moldavia), dates back at least to the late 14th century. [note 1] [1] [2] [3] Inspired from the organization of the late Byzantine Empire, each județ was ruled by a jude (or pârcălab for a ținut), a person officially appointed with administrative and judicial functions. [3] [4] Transylvania was divided into royal counties headed by comes (royal counts) with administrative and judicial functions. [3]

After modern Romania was formed in 1859 through the union of Wallachia and the rump of Moldavia, the administrative division was modernized using the French administrative system as a model, with județ as the basic administrative unit. [5] [6] Aside from the 1950–1968 period, this system has remained in place until today. Since 1864, for each județ there exists a prefect , a subordinate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and representative of the government inside the county; he is also the head of local administration for areas not delegated to local authorities. [5] [6] Until 1948, each județ was further divided into several plăși , each administered by a pretor. [7]

After the adoption of a new Constitution in 1923, the traditional local administrative systems of the newly acquired regions of Transylvania, Bukovina and Bessarabia were made uniform in 1925 with that of the Romanian Old Kingdom. County borders were kept largely intact, with few adjustments, and the total number of counties was raised to 71; this lasted until the beginning of World War II. [6]

In 1938, King Carol II modified the law on the administration of the Romanian territory according to the fascist model. [8] Ten ținuturi (approx. translation "lands") were created, ruled by Rezidenți Regali (Royal Residents), appointed directly by the Monarch. The ținuturi represented another layer of administration between counties and the country, as the county borders were not erased. [5] [9]

Due to the territorial changes during World War II, this style of administration did not last, and the administration at the județ level was reintroduced after the war. [5] Between 1941 and 1944, Romania administered the territory between the Dniester and Southern Bug rivers known as Transnistria, which consisted of 13 separate counties. [10]

After taking over the administration of the country in 1945, the Communist Party changed the administrative model to that of the Soviet Union (regions and raions) in 1950, but changed it back in 1968. [11] Nevertheless, the county borders set then were quite different from those present during the interbellum, as only 39 counties were formed from the 56 remaining after the war. [12]

In 1981, Giurgiu and Călărași were split from Ialomița and the former county of Ilfov, [12] while in 1997, Ilfov County, which had been a dependency of the municipality of Bucharest for nearly two decades, was reinstated. [13] [14] The county borders set in 1968 are still largely in place today, but the functions of different authorities have changed due to administrative reforms in the 1990s. [5] [6]

At present, Romania is divided into 41 counties and one municipality (Bucharest); these are assigned as the NUTS-3 geocode statistical subdivision scheme of Romania within the European Union. [15] Each of the counties is further divided into cities (some of which have municipality status) and communes. The prefect and his administration have executive prerogatives within the county limits, while limited legislative powers are assigned to a County Council elected every four years during local elections. [16] The territorial districts of the Romanian judicial system overlap with county borders, thus avoiding further complication in the separation of powers on the government. [5]

Current list

County seat
Name origin
[note 2] [17]

ISO code
[note 3]
Postal code
[note 4] [18]
Area code
[note 5] [19]
NUTS code
[note 6] [20]
(2011) [21]
Actual Alba county CoA.png
Alba Iulia
ROU AB Alba Iulia CoA.png
Alba Iulia Center AB5158RO121342,3766,250 km2 (2,410 sq mi) Alba.svg
Stema judetului Arad.png
Coa Romania Town Arad.svg
county seat West AR3157RO421430,6297,746 km2 (2,991 sq mi) Arad.svg
Actual Arges county CoA.png
ROU AG Pitesti CoA.png
Argeș River South-Muntenia AG1148RO311612,4316,822 km2 (2,634 sq mi) Arges.svg
Stema judetului Bacau.svg
ROU BC Bacau CoA1.png
county seat North-East BC6034RO211616,1686,622 km2 (2,557 sq mi) Bacau.svg
Actual Bihor county CoA.png
ROU BH Oradea CoA1.png
Biharia commune North-West BH4159RO111575,3987,539 km2 (2,911 sq mi) Bihor.svg
Stema Bistrita-Nasaud.svg
ROU BN Bistrita CoA.jpg
Bistrița River and Năsăud city North-West BN4263RO112286,2255,358 km2 (2,069 sq mi) Bistrita-Nasaud.svg
Stema judetului Botosani.svg
ROU BT Botosani CoA.svg
county seat North-East BT7131RO212412,6264,987 km2 (1,925 sq mi) Botosani.svg
Brasov county coat of arms.png
ROU BV Brasov CoA.svg
county seat Center BV5068RO122549,2175,361 km2 (2,070 sq mi) Brasov.svg
Stema judetului Braila.svg
ROU BR Braila CoA.png
county seat South-East BR8139RO221321,2124,766 km2 (1,840 sq mi) Braila.svg
(Municipality of Bucharest)
[note 7]
last name Bucur [23] Bucharest-Ilfov B01–06
[note 8]
[note 9]
RO3211,883,425240 km2 (93 sq mi) Bucharest.svg
Actual Buzau county CoA.png
ROU BZ Buzau CoA.png
Buzău River South-East BZ1238RO222451,0696,101 km2 (2,356 sq mi) Buzau.svg
Actual Caras-Severin county CoA.png
ROU CS Resita CoA1.png
defunct Caraș and Severin Counties West CS3255RO422295,5798,532 km2 (3,294 sq mi) Caras-Severin.svg
Stema Calarasi.svg
ROU CL Calarasi CoA1.png
county seat South-Muntenia CL9142RO312306,6915,087 km2 (1,964 sq mi) Calarasi.svg
Actual Cluj county CoA.png
ROU CJ Cluj-Napoca CoA.png
county seat North-West CJ4064RO113691,1066,672 km2 (2,576 sq mi) Cluj.svg
Actual Constanta county CoA.png
ROU CT Constanta CoA.png
county seat South-East CT9041RO223684,0827,104 km2 (2,743 sq mi) Constanta.svg
Coa Romania County Kovaszna.svg
Sfântu Gheorghe
Official Sf Gheorghe CoA.svg
Covasna River Center CV5267RO123210,1773,707 km2 (1,431 sq mi) Covasna.svg
Stema Dambovita.svg
ROU DB Targoviste CoA.png
Dâmbovița River South-Muntenia DB1345RO313518,7454,056 km2 (1,566 sq mi) Dambovita.svg
RO Dolj county COA.svg
ROU DJ Craiova CoA1.png
Jiu River [note 10] South-West Oltenia DJ2051RO411660,5447,425 km2 (2,867 sq mi) Dolj.svg
Stema judetului Galati.svg
ROU GL Galati CoA.png
county seat South-East GL8036RO224536,1674,465 km2 (1,724 sq mi) Galati.svg
Stema Giurgiu.svg
ROU GR Giurgiu CoA1.png
county seat South-Muntenia GR0846RO314281,4223,544 km2 (1,368 sq mi) Giurgiu.svg
Stema Gorj.svg
Târgu Jiu
ROU GJ Targu Jiu CoA.png
Jiu River [note 11] South-West Oltenia GJ2153RO412341,5945,572 km2 (2,151 sq mi) Gorj.svg
Harghita county coat of arms.gif
Miercurea Ciuc
Coa Romania Town Csikszereda.svg
Harghita Mountains Center HR5366RO124310,8676,637 km2 (2,563 sq mi) Harghita.svg
Actual Hunedoara county CoA.png
ROU HD Deva CoA1.png
Hunedoara city West HD3354RO423418,5657,072 km2 (2,731 sq mi) Hunedoara.svg
Stema Ialomita.svg
ROU IL Slobozia CoA.jpg
Ialomița River South-Muntenia IL9243RO315274,1484,455 km2 (1,720 sq mi) Ialomita.svg
Actual Iasi county CoA.svg
ROU IS Iasi CoA.png
county seat North-East IS7032RO213772,3485,477 km2 (2,115 sq mi) Iasi.svg
Actual Ilfov county CoA.png
ROU IF Buftea CoA.jpg
Ilfov River Bucharest-Ilfov IF071x
[note 9]
RO322388,7381,564 km2 (604 sq mi) Ilfov.svg
Actual Maramures county CoA.png
Baia Mare
ROU MM Baia Mare CoA1.png
Maramureș historical region North-West MM4362RO114478,6596,303 km2 (2,434 sq mi) Maramures.svg
Actual Mehedinti county CoA.png
Drobeta-Turnu Severin
ROU MH Drobeta-Turnu Severin CoA.png
Mehadia commune South-West Oltenia MH2252RO413265,3904,942 km2 (1,908 sq mi) Mehedinti.svg
Mures county coat of arms.svg
Târgu Mureș
Coa Romania Town Marosvasarhely.svg
Mureș River Center MS5465RO125550,8466,705 km2 (2,589 sq mi) Mures.svg
Stema Neamt.svg
Piatra Neamț
ROU NT Piatra Neamt CoA.jpg
Neamț River North-East NT6133RO214470,7665,897 km2 (2,277 sq mi) Neamt.svg
Actual Olt county CoA.png
ROU OT Slatina CoA1.png
Olt River South-West Oltenia OT2349RO414436,4005,503 km2 (2,125 sq mi) Olt.svg
Stema Prahova.svg
ROU PH Ploiesti CoA1.png
Prahova River South-Muntenia PH1044RO316762,8864,715 km2 (1,820 sq mi) Prahova.svg
Satu Mare
Satu Mare county CoA.png
Satu Mare
ROU SM Satu Mare CoA1.png
county seat North-West SM4461RO115344,3604,420 km2 (1,710 sq mi) Satu Mare.svg
RO Judetul Salaj COA.svg
ROU SJ Zalau CoA.png
Sălaj River North-West SJ4560RO116224,3843,867 km2 (1,493 sq mi) Salaj.svg
Sibiu county coat of arms.png
Coa Romania Town Nagyszeben.svg
county seat Center SB5569RO126397,3225,432 km2 (2,097 sq mi) Sibiu.svg
Actual Suceava county CoA.png
ROU SV Suceava CoA.png
Suceava River North-East SV7230RO215634,8108,553 km2 (3,302 sq mi) Suceava.svg
Actual Teleorman county CoA.png
ROU TR Alexandria CoA1.png
Teleorman River South-Muntenia TR1447RO317380,1235,788 km2 (2,235 sq mi) Teleorman.svg
ROU Timis County CoA.svg
ROU TM Timisoara CoA.svg
Timiș River West TM3056RO424683,5408,692 km2 (3,356 sq mi) Timis.svg
Actual Tulcea county CoA.png
ROU TL Tulcea CoA.png
county seat South-East TL8240RO225213,0838,484 km2 (3,276 sq mi) Tulcea.svg
Actual Vaslui county CoA.png
ROU VS Vaslui CoA.jpg
Vaslui River North-East VS7335RO216395,4995,317 km2 (2,053 sq mi) Vaslui.svg
Actual Valcea county CoA.png
Râmnicu Vâlcea
Interbelic Ramnicu Valcea CoA.jpg
medieval county of Vîlcea [1] [note 12] South-West Oltenia VL2450RO415371,7145,764 km2 (2,225 sq mi) Valcea.svg
Actual Vrancea county CoA.png
ROU VN Focsani CoA.jpg
medieval county of Vrancha [24] [note 13] South-East VN6237RO226340,3104,854 km2 (1,874 sq mi) Vrancea.svg

See also


  1. Județ originates from the Latin judicium and ținut probably from the Latin tenutum.
  2. Most of the names of the present counties originate from one of the larger rivers that flow through the county. In a number of cases, the name of the county seat or another large city in the county is the same as that river.
  3. These are the ISO 3166-2:RO codes which coincide with the license plate ones; they are also used as usual abbreviations, such as in mailing addresses.
  4. The postal code format is of the type xxyzw, with xx being the numbers associated with the county; the digits y, z, and w indicate the city, the street, part of the street, or even the building of the address.
  5. Landline phone numbers are of the type +40-abb-xxx-xxx, where 40 is the country code, bb is the area code, and a is a digit indicating the operator: 2 for the former national operator, Romtelecom, and 3 for the other ground telephone networks. Mobile phone numbers, however, only start with the digit 7 (for a) and do not follow county borders.
  6. The development region code follows the format ROxyz, where x is the macroregion number, y represents the development region and is either 1 or 2, and z is the county number within the region.
  7. Bucharest is not a county, but a municipality that has an identical administrative status to all the other 41 counties.
  8. Due to Bucharest's significantly larger population, it has a different postal code for each of its six sectors.
  9. 1 2 Bucharest and Ilfov county have the same code. Due to their large population, phone numbers have only the suffix "1" (unlike two-digit suffixes for counties) followed by seven digits (only six digits for anywhere else).
  10. Dolj is a shortened form of Dolu (Slavic for "valley") Jiu, in reference to the county's location in the lower part of Jiu river.
  11. Gorj is a shortened form of Gora (Slavic for "mountain") Jiu, in reference to the county's location in the upper part of Jiu river.
  12. Vâlcea is the Romanian word for a narrow valley.
  13. Vran is a substratum word believed to mean "forest" or "mountain".

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