This study provides a multidimensional analysis of sustainable socio-economic development and its challenges in the rural areas of Ukraine. The methodology of realization of sustainable development’s conceptual provisions was created. The advantages of using indicative assessment at the regional level were justified. The methodical approach how to define the indicators of sustainable development (including economic, socio-demographic, labor and environmental domains) of rural areas was proposed. Statistical data, experts’ and rural residents’ evaluation were used to assess the level of socio-economic development of rural areas. The proposed system of indicators is applicable not only to the rural areas of the whole region, but also to its different parts. The tracking model is based on the consistent use of economic, mathematical and expert methods: SWOT-analysis, factor, cluster and discriminant analysis. The construction of the dendrogram allows to determine the type of representative for each cluster. The modeling of sustainable socio-economic development for each sample is applicable to all areas within same cluster. A representative sample from each cluster makes it possible to identify the presence in the region of the so-called "points of growth" and to forecast their development. Two scenarios are considered: maximum (the share of GRP accumulation growth 21.2%) and moderate (the share of GRP accumulation growth 10.6%). GDP Gross Domestic Product growth will differentiate by the type of activity: cluster 1 (agriculture, hunting and forestry) 13% increase; cluster 2 (trade, service and household services) 21% increase; cluster 3 (tourism and international cooperation) 18% increase; cluster 4 (processing industry) 8% increase. Therefore, the using of key indicators for monitoring the sustainable development of rural areas provides an opportunity to take into account the specifics of sustainable development of different specialization branches of rural areas that will support high economic and social growth in the future.
- Factor analysis selected 11 out of 15 key indicators to monitor the level of socio-economic development of rural areas;
- SWOT and cluster analysis identified 4 clusters of socio-economic development of rural areas;
- The maximum scenario of development of rural areas corresponds to the share of GRP accumulation growth of 21.2%, while the moderate scenario corresponds to the share of GRP accumulation growth of 10.6%;
- GDP growth will differentiate by the type of activity: cluster 1 (agriculture, hunting and forestry) 13% increase; cluster 2 (trade, service and household services) 21% increase; cluster 3 (tourism and international cooperation) 18% increase; cluster 4 (processing industry) 8% increase.