Gjilan origin dates from 1772 and was founded by family of Gjinaj, which from 1737 has ruled a part of Kosova. Sultan has recognized the power of this family. Gjinajt came in Gjilan from medieval city of Artana (Novoberde).

Bahti Beg Gjinolli is known as the founder of town. Gjilan population always has been mixed with Albanian domination as during the Turks ruling as well as during the Serb-Yugoslav ruling.

Based on publication of Statistical Centre of Kosova, December 2002, the following data about population can be presented: total number of inhabitants 133724, 68814 males and around 64910 women, from that number 116246 Albanians and 17478 other communities.

Migrations from Youth Kosova, FYROM and other Municipalities we have 9600 inhabitants, 79898 in Urban Zone and the other part in rural areas. Development of population: natural increase 2976, 3360 nativity, 384 deaths and 912 marriages.

National structure of population in municipality of Gjilan is as follows: 116246 Albanians (86.9%), 12500 Serbs (9.4%), 133 Montenegrin (0.1%), 936 Turks (0.7), 267 Muslims (0.2%), 3610 Roma (2.7%) and 32 others