The economic, social and cultural underdevelopment of a region of a nation or extra-national political unit. This might result from geographic isolation, sparse population, cultural political or social differences. The underdevelopment of a region results in further declines in jobs and frequently declines in population due to migration to more prosperous regions.
Geography works to the disadvantage of parts of countries that are either divided from the mainland by water (from a few to a thousand or more kilometres), or isolated by mountains, desert and other inhospitable terrain. These lands may be heavily or sparsely inhabited with a population who are usually full-citizens of the state, yet they do not have a comparable standard of living. In fact their standard may be considerably lower than either that of urban or rural populations. Lack of natural resources, local industry or strategic importance perpetuates the lack of interest of central planners. In some cases these regions are the homelands of an ethnic minority whose neglect by the state occasions little political dissent.