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On the basis of data on all of the Polish rural municipalities – close to altogether 1,600 entities – a preliminary study was carried out, meant to identify certain key characteristics of the population studied in terms of economic activity and its reflection through the indicators, related, fi rst of all, to: (i) the non-agricultural employment, (ii) the number of businesses, (iii) the registered unemployment, (iv) the share of agricultural tax in the local budgets, (v) the overall structure of the local budgets, and (vi) the equipment with basic technical infrastructure. Given the limitations of the offi cial statistics, characterised in the paper, and often leading to statistical artefacts, the analysis attempts to verify certain simple hypotheses, which can be forwarded on the basis of these statistics. Some simple models and relations are identifi ed for the entire population of the rural municipalities in Poland and for its signifi cant sub-populations. This analysis constitutes also a preliminary step towards identification of regional differentiation with respect to the phenomena considered. The primary purpose of the analysis, whose initial stages are presented here, is to identify the development paths of rural municipalities in order to be able to assess the quality (degree of balance or sustainability) of their development with respectto the paths identified.


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