The history of the population of Ukraine's territory dates back many centuries. The middle Dnieper area (the present Kyiv and Cherkasy regions) was the center of the first state of the Eastern Slavs. In the northern part and Polissia Chernihiv, Lviv and Lutsk grew and prospered. These regions belonged to the most densely settled territories from the times of Kyiv Rus until the 19th century. An intensive settlement of the south regions began in the second half of the '9th century in connection with the rapid growth in farming and especially the development of the mining industry in Donbas and the Dnieper area.