The residual stress in thin coatings of yttria stabilised-zirconia produced by Low Pressure Plasma Spraying were measured by X-ray Diffraction, using laboratory as well as synchrotron radiation sources. The specific microstructure, with absence of texture and fine distribution of nearly equiaxed grains, point out that despite the markedly anisotropic nature of cubic zirconia, coatings can be considered as macroscopically isotropic. This picture is also confirmed by the results of a parallel study, where the X-ray elastic constants were measured in-situ along two crystallographic directions ( and ): measured values agree fairly well with those calculated from single-crystal data under the Neerfeld-Hill assumptions. SR XRD provided a detailed information on the stress field across the thickness of the zirconia coatings. In particular the presence of a stress gradient was observed and modelled. The average stress is compressive, and increases with the coating thickness. Compression tend to increase from the surface toward the inside of the coating reaching a maximum of ~-1.0 GPa in a 24 µm coating.