Paya Terubong used to be a predominantly agriculture area.
The residents sold their products in the Air Itam market. Since the late eighties, widespread development has taken over most of the agricultural land. The present identity of Paya Terubong is that of a developing town. It is now linked to Bandar Baru Air Itam (Bandar Farlim). Farlim was the developer of the vast piece of Thean Teik Estate. One of the major land owners in the area is the estate of the late Chor Sin Kheng. Today, Paya Terubong is one of the most densely populated areas in Penang with high rise apartments mushrooming on every available parcel of land. Many commercial complexes and new developments are constantly changing the landscape of Paya Terubong.
Public (government-owned) Chinese primary Schools Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina) Kong Min Cawangan 2 is located in Paya Terubong.
Paya Terubong is linked to Relau and Balik Pulau by a road over the hill.