Economic sector

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This figure illustrates the percentages of a country's economy made up by different sector. The figure illustrates that countries with higher levels of socio-economic development tend to have less of their economy made up of primary and secondary sectors and more emphasis in tertiary sectors. The less developed countries exhibit the inverse pattern.
Three sectors according to Fourastié
Clark's sector model

The classical breakdown of all economic sectors follows:[1]

  • Primary: Involves the retrieval and production of raw materials, such as corn, coal, wood and iron. (A coal miner and a fisherman would be workers in the primary sector.)
  • Secondary: Involves the transformation of raw or intermediate materials into goods e.g. manufacturing steel into cars, or textiles into clothing. (A builder and a dressmaker would be workers in the secondary sector.)
  • Tertiary: Involves the supplying of services to consumers and businesses, such as baby-sitting, cinema and banking. (A shopkeeper and an accountant would be workers in the tertiary sector.)

In the 20th century, it began to be argued that traditional tertiary services could be further distinguished from "quaternary" and quinary service sectors.[2]

An economy may include several sectors (also called industries), that evolved in successive phases.

Even in modern times, developing countries tend to rely more on the first two sectors, compared to developed countries.

By ownership[edit]

An economy can also be divided along different lines:

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Zoltan Kenessey. "The Primary, Secondary, Tertiary and Quaternary Sectors of the Economy". The Review of Income and Wealth. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  2. ^ Matt Rosenberg (14 January 2007). "Sectors of the Economy". About.com. Retrieved 20 April 2012.