The International Information Centre for Local Credit, with the assistance of member banks, carries out investigations in different countries and publishes the results. The present study relates to the problem of the unequal economic, social and cultural development of different areas in the world. Particu- larly since the second world war this problem has been recognized as being of major importance. While initially it was the differences in development between different countries which attracted almost all the attention, for a number of years now an increasing interest has been apparent in the differences in level of development between specific regions in individual countries. This growing realization of the problem with regard to the varying levels of development which could exist within one and the same country found expression, for instance, in the International Union of Local Authorities congress held at Tel Aviv in 1961, which was devoted to the task of local authorities in development areas. The increasing interest in these problems was also evidenced in other quarters, the Conference for Regional Economy of the European Economic Community being held in Brussels in the same year. From these conferences, and also from many other indications as well, it became clear that the problem of regional economic develop- ment today stands high on the priority list of questions of policy for many governments and that in general there is a great need for infor- mation on how the problem is being tackled in other countries.