Economically, the Upper Odra River Land is situated on the axis of the links between the Upper Silesian Industrial Region and Ostrava-Karvina Coal Basin. The Upper Odra River Land has a tendency to polycentric development with the center in Rybnik, and to settlement development along the transport routes connecting the Upper Odra River Land with Czech Republic, including the Agglomeration of Ostrava and Opava District, through the international border crossings in Chałupki and Pietraszyn and the local border traffic.
The area is favorably located in terms of the scope of influence of central investments: directly of A1 motorway and indirectly of A4 motorway and the Racibórz reservoir on the upper Oder. These conditions create convenient opportunities for socio-economic development of the Land. Rybnik, the main development center, is located about 50km from Katowice (the capital of Silesia), about 120 km away from Kraków and about 25km from the border with Czech Republic in Chałupki.
The Upper Odra River Land comprises of the following administrative units:
There are also two Euro-regions:
One of the important potentials of the Upper Odra River Land is its population. Given the number of residents living in the Upper Odra River Land, it constitutes the second agglomerated area in the province in terms of population (640.6 thousand), after the Katowice metropolitan area. The Upper Odra river Land coincides territorially and viably with the former Rybnik Coal Area, however its name did not reflect fully the nature of the area (currently Rybnik Industrial District). Apart from Rybnik, to the District belong other four major centers of development: Jastrzębie-Zdrój, Racibórz, Wodzisław Śląski and Żory. Other communes of the Land are under the strong influence of the key centers.
The specifics of the major growth centers of the Upper Odra River Land is of industrial-commercial character (with the exception of Wodzisław Śląski where the commercial-industrial model is predominant). The development of the region in the following years should lead to a withdrawal from the industrial model in favour of the service sector development (this will be especially noticeable in Rybnik, which as a natural leader will set the trend for the rest of the Land's centers).