In terms of natural geography, the Podravska region is marked by hills in the north-east, 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 (82,000 hectares) and is the leading region in terms of the number of agricultural holdings. In 2007 the region ranked second as regards the contribution to the national GDP, behind Osrednjeslovenska. The highest share of gross value added was created by the service industry.

The employment population ratio (59.2%) was in 2008 among the lowest in Slovenia, while the employment ratio of older persons (aged 55- 64) was above the average in Slovenia. In 2008 the Podravska region ranked third according to the number of dwellings completed per 1,000 population with new constructions as predominant (94.6%).

Based on building permits issued in the same year it was estimated that the largest area per km2 of the region was intended for new constructions in Podravska (106.6 m2 per km2 ) and the smallest, i.e. five times less, in Jugovzhodna Slovenija.