The present municipality was created in three steps during the last nationwide local government reform, and it has the largest area of the municipalities of Skåne County. In 1967 a number of rural municipalities were merged into the City of Kristianstad. In 1971 more former units were added and the city became a unitary municipality. Finally in 1974, the last amalgamations took place, and the municipality reached its present size. The number of original entities (as of 1863) is 35.
Its size of 1,818.24 square kilometres (702.03 sq mi) makes it the largest municipality in Skåne County by area.