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 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 2010 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 (54.7%) was in 2011 among the lowest in Slovenia, while the employment ratio of older persons (aged 55-64) was 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 (97 in 2011).
In 2011, most of the insolvency proceedings were commenced in Podravska, i.e. 21 compulsory compositions, bankruptcies and liquidations per 1,000 companies and cooperatives in the region. According to estimates, in 2011 dwellings completed (3 per 1,000 population) and building permits issued (2.5 per 1,000 population) in the Podravska region were above the national average.