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.
|Counties of Romania |
Romanian: Județele României
|Number||41 (as of 1995)|
|Populations||193,355 (TL) – 760,774 (IS)/1,716,983 (B)|
|Areas||228 km2 (88 sq mi) (B)/1,583 km2 (611 sq mi) (IF) – 8,697 km2 (3,358 sq mi) (TM)|
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 since changed several times 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 the 2021 census data from the National Institute of Statistics, the average population of Romania's 41 counties is about 423,000, with Iași County as the most populous (760,000) and Tulcea County (193,000) 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 1,716,983 people and 228 square kilometres (88 sq mi).
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