A region is a medium scale area of land or water which can be differentiated on the basis of physical, human or functional characteristics.
- Physical characteristics: This includes factors such as forest, cover, mineral resources, climate etc.
- Human characteristics: Regions defined on the basis of human characteristics include historical regions, tourism regions, religious regions etc.
- Functional characteristics: Regions in this category are linked by commuting patterns, trade flows, newspaper circulations, television and radio broadcasts etc.
As regions differ so do the problems of every region. Regional economics came into existence to enable us to plan in terms of a specific region. The various fields that regional economists enquire into are:
- The determinants of industrial location. (Both within the nation and within the region.)
- The regional economic impact of the arrival or departure of a firm.
- The determinants of internal migration patterns and land use change.
- Regional specialization.
- Environmental impact of social and economic change.
- Geographic association of social and economic conditions.