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Harju County
—  County of Estonia  —


Coat of arms
Country Estonia
Capital Tallinn
 - Governor Värner Lootsmann
 - Total 4,333 km2 (1,673 sq mi)
Population (Jan 2009[1])
 - Total 524,938
 - Density 121.1/km2 (313.8/sq mi)
ISO 3166 code EE-37

Harju County (Estonian: Harju maakond), or Harjumaa (German: Harrien, Latin: Harria), nowadays one of 15 counties of Estonia. It is situated in northern Estonia, on the south coast of the Gulf of Finland, and borders Lääne-Viru County to the east, Järva County to the south-east, Rapla County to the south, and Lääne County to the south-west.

524,938 people live in Harju County – constituting 39.2% of the total population in Estonia (as of January 2009).[1]

Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is included in the county. The City Council of Tallinn has applied to the Government to be given a special status with its own law.



In the first centuries AD political and administrative subdivisions began to emerge in Estonia. Two larger subdivisions appeared: the parish (Estonian: kihelkond) and the county (Estonian: 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 districts had developed in Estonia: Saaremaa (Osilia), Läänemaa (Rotalia or Maritima), Harjumaa (Harria), Rävala (Revalia), Virumaa (Vironia), Järvamaa (Jervia), Sakala (Saccala), and Ugandi (Ugaunia).[2]


County Government

The County Government (Estonian: Maavalitsus) is led by Governor (Estonian: maavanem), who is appointed by the Government of Estonia for a term of five years. Since 2006 the Governor position is taken by Värner Lootsmann.

The history of Harju County Government goes back to the year 1917.

Harju County Municipality has been founded by the regulation from 30 March 1917. The members of the Harju County Council were elected by the delegates of county municipalities. The first meeting was held on 1 July 1917 in Tallinn, Toompea Castle. Johannes Reinthal won the elections for the Chair of the Council. The language of procedure was decided to be Estonian.

The structure of Harju County Government has consisted of following departments from its beginning:

  • general department (organised the work of different committees),
  • food department (stored and registered the food products, provided the people and military etc),
  • roads department,
  • health care department,
  • the government of rural schools (education department was formed later) and
  • administrative department.

Executive Committee of Harju County Deputies Council was formed on January 1941. Its existence was stopped during the German occupation from the autumn of 1941 till autumn 1944. After the new rural regions were formed in Soviet Union, the Executive Committee of Harju County Deputies Council was abolished on 1950. The Executive Committee of Harju Region Labour Deputies Council was formed.

Harju County Government was formed on 1990.

The Chairs of Harju County Councils, the Heads of County Governments and the County Governors:

  • 1917 – 1920 Johannes Reinthal
  • 1920 – 1922 Oskar Suursööt
  • 1922 – 1927 Martin Kruusimaa (Krusemann)
  • 1927 – 1936 Rudolf Kuris
  • 1936 – 1940 Karl Robert Ruus
  • 1940 – 1941 Gustav Abel
  • 1940; 1941 – 1944 Paul Männik
  • 1990 – 1991 Anti Oidsalu
  • 1991 – 1994 Mati Zernand
  • 1994 – 1999 Mait Kornet
  • 1999 – 2004 Orm Valtson
  • 2005 – 2006 Jaan Mark
  • 2006 – Värner Lootsmann


The county is subdivided into municipalities. There are 6 urban municipalities (Estonian: linnad – towns) and 18 rural municipalities (Estonian: valladparishes) in Harju County.

Municipalities in Harju County

Urban municipalities:

Rural municipalities:


  1. ^ a b "Population by sex, ethnic nationality and County, 1 January". Statistics Estonia. 1 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-18.  
  2. ^ Estonia and the Estonians (Studies of Nationalities) Toivo U. Raun p.11 ISBN 0817928529

External links



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