Founded as a customs post with its twin city Albury on the other side of the Murray River, it has always been the smaller, poorer cousin, with the historical nickname "Struggletown". Whilst still somewhat smaller than Albury, economic growth in both areas has seen such distinctions ameliorated.
Major secondary industries based in Wodonga include a large cattle market, a pet food factory, and an abbatoir, as well as a variety of other smaller ones. The city also has a campus of Latrobe University. It also serves as a central point for the delivery of government services to the surrounding region.
Wodonga is the site of an army logistics base and a training centre for army technical apprentices, Wadsworth Barracks.
Several experiments in cross-border governance in an attempt to bring the cities together have been tried - see Albury-Wodonga for details.