Municipalities in Croatia (Croatian: op?ina; plural: op?ine) are the second lowest administrative unit of government in the country, and along with cities and towns (grad, plural: gradovi) they form the second level of administrative subdisivion, after counties.
Though equal in powers and administrative bodies, municipalities and towns differ in that municipalities are usually more likely to consist of a collection of villages in rural or suburban areas, whereas towns are more likely to cover urbanised areas. Croatian law defines municipalities as local self-government units which are established, in an area where several inhabited settlements represent a natural, economic and social entity, related to one other by the common interests of the area's population.
Municipalities, within their self-governing scope of activities, perform the tasks of local significance, which directly fulfil the citizens' needs, and which were not assigned to the state bodies by the Constitution or law, and in particular affairs related to the organization of localities and housing, zoning and planning, public utilities, child care, social welfare, primary health services, education and primary schools, culture, physical education and sports, customer protection, protection and improvement of the environment, fire protection and civil defence, local transport.
Municipal council (op?insko vije?e) is the representative body of citizens and the body of local self-government. The councillors are elected for a four-year term on the basis of universal suffrage in direct elections by secret ballot using proportional system with d'Hondt method. The executive head of the municipality is the municipality president (or head of the municipality, op?inski na?elnik), also elected in direct elections for a four-year term, by majoritarian vote (two-round system) (the deputy president is elected together with the president). He/She (with the deputy president) can be recalled by a referendum. Municipalities have administrative departments as offices of municipal administration (in small municipalities there is unique administrative department) chaired by the heads (principals). They are appointed by the municipal president on the basis of a public competition.
Croatian municipalities are administratively subdivided into "local committee areas" (mjesni odbori) with elected councils.
As of 2015, there are 428 municipalities in Croatia.