The paper reviews the main criteria for classifying the eastern Polish border region as a peripheral area. Apart from geographical location there are also economic, social and cultural criteria. The article refers to the economic, social and cultural conditions of local development. The main direction of development of the Polish region of eastern is agriculture. The area is also characterised by low population density. This hinders the development of the area. It can also be an advantage, especially in a situation of tourism development. The paper discusses selected factors determining the local development of Eastern Poland. The emphasis is put on their diversity and the fact that the interpretation of their real impact remains inconclusive as it is in the case of the border itself. The boundary state can be both a barrier and a factor stimulating the development of the areas. The analysis justifi es the conclusion that each of these factors contributes to the development of border areas. Strength of their impact depends on the strategy of development. The article uses an analysis of source materials, as well as the author’s own observations arising from years of the research conducted in this area.