The region's main city is Kutaisi; other urban industrial centers include Samtredia, Chiatura (manganese production centre), Tkibuli (coal mining centre), Zestafoni (known for metals production), Vani, Khoni, and Sachkhere. Traditionally, Imereti is an agricultural region, known for its mulberries and grapes.
In late antiquity and early Middle Ages the ancient western Georgian kingdom of Egrisi existed on the territory of Imereti. Its king declared Christianity as an official religion of Egrisi in 523 AD. In 975-1466 Imereti was part of the united Georgian Kingdom. Since its disintegration in the 15th century, Imereti was an independent kingdom.
In the 17th-18th centuries the kingdom of Imereti suffered frequent invasions by the Turks and recognized to patronage of Ottoman Empire until 1810, when it was occupied and annexed by the Russian Empire. The last King of Imereti was Solomon II (1789-1810).
From 1918–1921, Imereti was part of the independent Democratic Republic of Georgia. Within the USSR, the region was part of the Transcaucasian SFSR from 1922–1936, and part of the Georgian SSR from 1936–1991. Since Georgian independence in 1991, Imereti has been a region in the Republic of Georgia with Kutaisi as the regional capital.