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 hydroelectric power plants on the Drava River), while the fertile soil is used for agricultural production. This region has the greatest utilised agricultural area in Slovenia (80,500 hectares) and is the leading region in terms of the number of agricultural holdings (more than 12,300). In this region the share of female holders of family farms was the highest, namely more than a third of all holders of family farms. In 2011 the region ranked second behind Osrednjeslovenska as regards the contribution to the national GDP. However, the disposable income per capita was one of the lowest in the country (EUR 9,800). In the same year the highest share of gross value added was generated by services. The employment population ratio (53.7%) was in 2012 among the lowest in Slovenia, while the employment ratio of older persons (aged 55–64) was above the national average.
In 2012 the registered unemployment rate was slightly lower (by 0.4 of a percentage point) but it was still above the national average. According to the labour migration index, the number of persons in employment working in the region does not lag far behind the number of persons in employment living in it (96 in 2012).