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Counties (Estonian: maakond, plural maakonnad) are the first-level administrative subdivisions of Estonia. Estonian territory is composed of 15 counties, including 13 on the mainland and 2 on islands. The government (maavalitsus) of each county is led by a maavanem (governor) who represents the national government (Vabariigi Valitsus) at the regional level. Governors are appointed by the national government for a term of five years. Each county is further divided into municipalities of two types: urban municipalities (towns, linnad) and rural municipalities (parishes, vallad). The number and name of the counties was not affected, but their borders were changed, by the administrative reform at the municipal elections Sunday 15 October 2017 which brought the number of municipalities down from 213 to 79.

Contents

1 List of counties 2 History 3 See also 4 References 5 External links

List of counties[edit] Population
Population
figures are those of 1 January 2018.[1]

List of counties of Estonia

Coat of arms County Capital Area (km2) Population Pop. density (inhab. /km2)

Harju County Tallinn 4,333 610,468 127.5

Hiiu County Kärdla 989 9,580 8.6

Ida-Viru County Jõhvi 3,364 142,562 44.4

Jõgeva
Jõgeva
County Jõgeva 2,604 29,544 12.1

Järva County Paide 2,623 31,082 11.6

Lääne County Haapsalu 2,383 21,174 10.1

Lääne-Viru County Rakvere 3,627 60,694 16.5

Põlva
Põlva
County Põlva 2,165 25,655 12.7

Pärnu
Pärnu
County Pärnu 4,807 87,681 17.2

Rapla
Rapla
County Rapla 2,980 33,774 11.7

Saare County Kuressaare 2,673 33,925 11.7

Tartu
Tartu
County Tartu 2,993 154,819 50.2

Valga County Valga 2,044 29,571 14.8

Viljandi
Viljandi
County Viljandi 3,422 47,563 13.9

Võru
Võru
County Võru 2,305 36,897 14.5

History[edit] Main article: History of Estonia

50 km

Counties with new borders after the Administrative Reform October 2017

Map of south Baltic region
Baltic region
circa 1705.

In the first centuries AD,[citation needed] political and administrative subdivisions began to emerge in Estonia. Two larger subdivisions appeared: the parish (kihelkond) and the county (maakond). The parish consisted of several villages. Nearly all parishes had at least one fortress. The defense of the local area was directed by the highest official, the parish elder. The county was composed of several parishes, also headed by an elder. By the 13th century the following major counties had developed in Estonia: Saaremaa (Osilia), Läänemaa
Läänemaa
(Rotalia or Maritima), Harjumaa (Harria), Rävala
Rävala
(Revalia), Virumaa
Virumaa
(Vironia), Järvamaa
Järvamaa
(Jervia), Sakala (Saccala), and Ugandi
Ugandi
(Ugaunia).[2] Additionally there were several smaller elderships in central Estonia
Estonia
where danger of war was smaller – Vaiga, Mõhu, Nurmekund
Nurmekund
and Alempois. The exact number and borders of some elderships are disputed. The first documented mentioning of Estonian political and administrative subdivisions comes from the Chronicle of Henry of Livonia, written in the 13th Century during the Northern Crusades. The Autonomy of the Estonia
Estonia
counties and parishes ended after conquered and divided between Denmark, Livonian Order, Bishopric of Dorpat and Bishopric of Ösel-Wiek. The name of Rävala
Rävala
became Reval, replacing the name of an Estonian town Lindanisse, later Tallinn. Ugandi, Sakala and the smaller elderships disappeared from common usage. In the 1580s, after the Livonian war
Livonian war
as Sweden
Sweden
had conquered Northern Estonia, Harju, Järva, Lääne and Viru counties were officially formed there. Southern Estonia, which belonged to Poland
Poland
1582-1625, was divided into voivodships of Pärnu
Pärnu
and Tartu; the island of Saaremaa belonged to Denmark
Denmark
until 1645. They all became counties as they went under Swedish rule. This administrative system mostly remained as Estonia
Estonia
went under Russian rule as a result of the Northern War. In 1793 were formed Võru
Võru
County
County
in the south of Tartumaa, Viljandi
Viljandi
County
County
between Tartu and Pärnu
Pärnu
counties, and Paldiski
Paldiski
County
County
in the west of Harjumaa. In 1796 Paldiski
Paldiski
County
County
was joined with Harjumaa
Harjumaa
again. Until 1888 Võrumaa and Viljandimaa were not completely independent from Tartumaa and Pärnumaa respectively. Several changes were made to the borders of counties after Estonia became independent, most notably the formation of Valga County
County
(from parts of Võru, Tartu
Tartu
and Viljandi
Viljandi
counties) and Petseri County
County
(area acquired from Russia with the 1920 Tartu
Tartu
peace treaty). During the Soviet rule, Petseri County
County
once again became a part of Russia in 1945. Hiiumaa seceded from Läänemaa
Läänemaa
in 1946, Jõgevamaa from Tartumaa in 1949 and Jõhvimaa (modern Ida-Virumaa) from Virumaa in 1949. Counties were completely dissolved in 1950 as Estonian SSR was divided into regions (rajoonid) and (until 1953) oblasts. Until the 1960s the borders of regions changed often until 15 of them were left. Out of them, Põlva
Põlva
and Rapla
Rapla
regions became separate, while the others were roughly corresponding to the pre-1950 counties. Counties were re-established on 1 January 1990 in the borders of the Soviet-era regions. Due to the numerous differences between the current and historical (pre-1940) layouts, the historical borders are still used in ethnology, representing cultural and linguistic differences better. See also[edit]

Ranked list of Estonian counties Flags of Estonian Counties Coats of arms of Estonian Counties ISO 3166-2:EE Municipalities of Estonia Administrative reform Estonia
Estonia
2017 (Estonian)

References[edit]

^ Interior ministry (PDF) https://www.siseministeerium.ee/sites/default/files/eesti_elanike_arv_kov_01.01.2018.pdf.  Missing or empty title= (help) ^ Estonia
Estonia
and the Estonians
Estonians
(Studies of Nationalities) Toivo U. Raun p.11 ISBN 0-8179-2852-9

External links[edit]

Local Government Reform Estonian Institute publication

v t e

Estonia articles

History

Timeline

list of wars

Ancient Estonia Livonian Crusade Danish Estonia German Bishoprics Livonian Order Baltic Germans Livonian War Polish Livonia Swedish Estonia Great Northern War Russian Estonia Livonia Age of Awakening Declaration of Independence War of Independence Era of Silence Occupation of Estonia World War II Forest Brothers Deportations Estonian SSR Government in exile Singing Revolution Declaration of sovereignty Restoration of independence

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Outline Index

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v t e

Counties of Estonia

Harjumaa Hiiumaa Ida-Virumaa Järvamaa Jõgevamaa Läänemaa Lääne-Virumaa Pärnumaa Põlvamaa Raplamaa Saaremaa Tartumaa Valgamaa Viljandimaa Võrumaa

v t e

First-level administrative divisions in European countries

Sovereign states

Albania Andorra Armenia2 Austria Azerbaijan1 Belarus Belgium Bosnia and Herzegovina Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus2 Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Georgia1 Germany Greece Hungary Iceland Ireland Italy Kazakhstan1 Latvia Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macedonia Malta Moldova Monaco Montenegro Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Romania Russia1 San Marino Serbia Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland Turkey1 Ukraine United Kingdom

States with limited recognition

Abkhazia2 Kosovo Nagorno-Karabakh2 Northern Cyprus2 South Ossetia2 Transnistria

1 Has part of its territory outside Europe. 2 Considered European for cultural, political and historical reasons but is geographically in Western Asia.

Table of administrative di

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