Four Types of Economic Activities

Economic geography deals with the spatial variations on the surface of the earth of activities related to production, exchange and consumption of goods and services. All the economic activities can be divided into four categories as follows:

Primary activities

Primary activities pertain to obtaining of natural resources from nature directly. Hunting, gathering, farming, animal husbandry, fishing, forestry, obtaining minerals from earth crust etc. are primary activities. Since these activities are outdoor in nature, the people engaged in them are called red-collar workers.

Secondary Activities

Secondary activities pertain to adding value to already existing products by changing their form via processing etc. Manufacturing industries are included in the secondary activities. We note here that sometimes, commercial farming is also included in secondary activities because of use of hybrid seeds and modern technology in cultivation. The workers engaged in secondary activities are called blue-collar workers.

Tertiary activities

Tertiary activities are concerned with providing service. The personal and business services such as clerks, barbers etc. are tertiary services. People engaged in these activities are called pink-collar workers.

Quaternary services

The services which are provided in special environments are called quaternary services. For example, health services are provided into hospitals, hospitality services are provided in hotels, teaching service is provided into school and institutors, entertainment services are provided into theatres, software services are provided over internet or computers. The workers engaged in such services are called white-collar workers. Researchers, legal consultants, financial advisors, professional consultants, software personnel etc. are white-collar workers. In summary, Quaternary activities are developed from of services, with specific knowledge, technical skills, and competence of communication or administration.

Last Updated: April 4, 2016

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