Formartine was once a quiet part of the county, as indeed is much of Aberdeenshire, but it has experienced rapid population growth, particularly around Ellon and Oldmeldrum, and in the southeast where development has spread outwith the city of Aberdeen. By contrast, the area around Turriff retains strong dependency on the traditional agricultural economy.
The area's coastline and rural environment offer recreation potential including the Formartine and Buchan Way.
This district has a long history. Its early history of this locale is evidenced by the survival of a number of prehistoric features, including a number of tumuli.
- Chalmers, George (1894). Caledonia: Or, A Historical and Topographical Account of North Britain, from the Most Ancient to the Present Times; with a Dictionary of Places, Chorographical and Philological. A. Gardner.
- Hogan, C. Michael (2008). "Catto Long Barrow fieldnotes". The Modern Antiquarian. http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/site/11227/catto.html#fieldnotes. Retrieved 15 September 2009.