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Consumer Services

Provide services to individual consumers who desire them and can afford to pay for them.

Retail Services

One fifth of the jobs in the United States that provide goods for sale to consumer. One fifth of the jobs are in wholesale, one third in restaurants or food stores, and the rest in shops selling goods.

Personal Services

One fifth of the jobs in the United States that provide services for the well-being and personal improvement of individual consumers. Most of these jobs are in health care or education. The remainder are primarily arts and entertainment and personal care, such as cleaners and beauty salons.

Business Services

Facilitate other businesses.

Producer Services

provide services primarily to help people conduct other business--either agriculture, manufacturing, or other services. One fifth of all the U.S. jobs are in producer services. One third of theproducer-service jobs are in financial services, including banks, insurance companies, real estate, and other financial institutions. Another one third are in professional services, primarily law, engineering, and management. The remaining one third are in other business services, such as advertising, employment agencies, and janitorial work.

Transportation and Information Services

Businesses that diffuse and distribute services. In the U.S., 7% of all jobs are in this group of services. One half of these services are in transportation, primarily trucking. The other half are in information services, including publishing and broadcasting.

Public Services

To provide security and protection for citizens and businesses.

Primary Sector

Agriculture and mining

Secondary Sector

Construction and Manufacturing.

Tertiary Sector

Consumer and Business Services.

Clustered Rural Settlements

A number of families live in close proximity to each other, with fields surrounding the collection of houses and farm buildings.

Dispersed Rural Settlements

Farmers living on individual farms isolated from neighbors rather than alongside other farmers in settlements.

Circular Rural Settlements

The circular form consists of a central open space surrounded by structures.

Linear Rural Settlements

Feature buildings clustered along a road, river, or dike to facilitate communications.

Colonial American Clustered Settlements

New England favoured clustered settlements centered on an open area called a common. Settlers grouped their homes and public buildings, such as the church and school, around the common. Southeastern colonies first settled with small, dispersed farms. Then, a different style emerged called a plantation.

Central Place

A market center for the exchange of goods and services by people attracted from the surrounding area.

Central Place Theory

A geographic concept that explains how services are distributed and why a regular pattern of settlements exists.


Also called "market area", this is the area surrounding a service from which customers are attracted to.


The maximum distance people are willing to travel to use a service.


The minimum number of people needed to support the service.

Gravity Model

Predicts that the optimal location of a service is directly related to the number of people in the area and inversely related to the distance people must travel to access it.

Walter Christaller

Came up with the Central Place Theory in 1903

Enclosure Movement

between 1750 and 1850 in Great Britain. The British government transformed the rural landscape by consolidating individually owned strips of land surrounding a village into a single large farm, owned by an individual. When necessary, the government forced people to give up their former holdings.

Rank-Size Rule

The country's n-th largest settlement is 1/n the population of the largest settlement.

Earliest Urban Settlements

Ancient Athens and Ancient Rome

Modern World Cities

London, New York, and Tokyo.

World Cities

Most closely integrated into the global economic system because they are at the center of the flow of information and capital.

Command and Control Centers

Second level of cities, contains the headquarters of many large corporations, well-developed banking facilities, and concentrations of other business serves, including insurance,a ccounting, advertising, law, and public relations.

Specialized Producer-Service Centers

The third level of cities, specialized producer-service centers.

Dependent Centers

Fourth-level cities provide relatively unskilled jobs and depend for their economic health on decisions made in the higher level cities.

Basic Industries

Export primarily to consumers outside the settlement.

Nonbasic Industries

Enterprises whose customers live in the same community, essentially consumer services.

Economic Base

A community's unique collection of basic industries.

Central Business District (CBD)

Services of all types clustered in the center of the city, commonly called downtown.

Retail Services with High Thresholds

Typically Department stores, now more likely to be located in suburban malls.

Retail Services with a High Range

Specialized, with customers who patronize it infrequently, like jewellry stores. Many have moved to surburban malls.

Retail Services Serving Downtown Workers

Serves the many people who work in the center and shop during lunch or working hours. Sells things like office supplies.

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