The differences in development in Slovenia are still significant. In order to minimize them and to ensure sustainable development, it is necessary, for good policy planning, to understand the key factors that cause these differences. Analyses presented in this paper are a part of a larger study of economic and development performance in Slovenia. We tried to extract the key factors, using the method of principal components analysis that reduce the number of indicators to 11 new independent variables, explaining 76.5% of total variability. On the basis of principal components, municipalities were further classified into four groups that reflect different economic and development performance. In this contribution we focused more on two important factors: educational structure of population and the structure of economic activities and the differences between urban and rural municipalities. Analyses show that better educational structure of area residents has influence on better economic power of the population, stimulate entrepreneurship, innovations, investment dynamics etc. For the economic performance of the area the structure of economic activities is important as well. Areas with higher share of active population employed in services performed better as areas where the share of agricultural or industrial employment is higher.


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