In terms of natural geography, the Podravska statistical region is marked by hills in the northeast, subalpine wooded mountains (Pohorje and Kozjak) to the west and Dravsko-Ptujsko polje along the Drava River.
The water wealth of this region is used for electricity production (the chain of hydro-electric power plants on the Drava River), while the fertile soil is used for agricultural production. This region has the highest share of utilised agricultural area in Slovenia (80,500 hectares) and is the leading region in terms of the number of agricultural holdings. In 2009 the region ranked second behind Osrednjeslovenska as regards the contribution to the national GDP. The highest share of gross value added was created by the service industry.
The employment population ratio (55.5%) was in 2010 among the lowest in Slovenia, while the employment ratio of older persons (aged 55-64) was above the national average.
In 2010 Podravska ranked eight according to the number of dwellings completed per 1,000 population with new constructions as predominant (90%). Based on building permits issued in the same year it was estimated that in the Podravska region as in most other Slovenian regions the construction activity decreased in comparison with previous years. Four out of five buildings planned for construction in the Podravska region will be intended for residential purposes.