The area comprises the counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Lincolnshire, the East Riding of Yorkshire and parts of Essex and Hertfordshire. The altitude of much of the area is below 60 metres and the Fens has the largest tract of low, flat land in the UK. The highest ground is in the south-west of the area where the north-eastwards extension of the Chiltern Hills reaches over 200 metres continuing as the East Anglian Heights. In the north of the area are the Lincolnshire Wolds and the Yorkshire Wolds.
Farming is an important activity in East Anglia and Lincolnshire and it is the chief cereal growing area of the UK, the main crops being barley, wheat and sugar beet. There is market gardening in the Fens, fruit growing in the Wisbech area, and the area around Spalding is noted for its spring bulbs. The industrial activities of the area include steel production and fishing. Fishing, which was once a major industry all along the east coast of England, has declined significantly in recent years.
The southern part of the area contains a number of satellite or dormitory towns around London such as Luton, Basildon, Stevenage and Southend. Other major centres of population include Peterborough, Norwich, Ipswich, Cambridge, Lincoln, Grimsby and Hull.