As a theoretical concept rural development basically deals with a wide range of social and economical problems faced by rural population. The analysis of geographical differences between regions and counties in Croatia indicates big disparities in rural and urban areas. Numerous negative factors characterizing rural areas include, above all, inadequate structure of rural population, steady downward trends of population size, emigration, inadequate structure of rural labour market, low educational level of rural population, high dependence of rural population on social support, poverty, high unemployment rate, connection to infrastructure, etc. Compared with the situation in urban areas, the overall economic situation and welfare of rural population is considerably unfavourable. Large parts of rural areas are faced with economic and social decline. Particularly negative living standard in rural areas has been found in many „high concentrated rural regions“ i.e. regions with 90% or more rural population. Implementation of regionalization as a consequence of differently developed regions represents a strategic point in creating a strategy which has two goals: the balance of social-economic diversity and initiative of integral regional development. In last few years clusters have become one of the key terms in numerous developmental initiatives, strategies and policies. As a process of mobilization of regional clusters clusterization can reduce regional disparities of social-economic inequality. Cluster management results in critical mass of information, knowledge and technologies which might enable network of new business activities.


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