AP Human Geography Chapter 12 Vocab

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The minimum number of people needed to support the service


A permanent collection of buildings and inhabitants.


any activity that fulfills a human want or need and returns money to those who provide it

rank size rule

A pattern of settlements in a country, such that the nth largest settlement is 1/n the population of the largest settlement.


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

public service

Services offered by the government to provide security and protection for citizens and businesses

primate city rule

A pattern of settlements in a country, such that the largest settlement has more than twice as many people as the second-ranking settlement.

primate city

The largest settlement in a country, if it has more than twice as many people as the second-ranking settlement.

nonbasic industries

Industries that sell their products primarily to consumers in the community.

market area

The area surrounding a central place, from which people are attracted to use the place’s goods and services.

gravity model

A model that holds that the potential use of a service at a particular location is directly related to the number of people in a location and inversely related to the distance people must travel to reach the service.

enclosure movement

The process of consolidating small landholdings into a smaller number of larger farms in England during the eighteenth century.

economic base

A community’s collection of basic industries.

dispersed rural settlement

A rural settlement pattern characterized by isolated farms rather than clustered villages.

consumer services

Businesses that provide services primarily to individual consumers, including retail services and personal services.

clustered rural settlement

A rural settlement in which the houses and farm buildings of each family are situated close to each other and fields surround the settlement.

city state

A soverign state comprising a city and its immediate hinterland

central place theory

A theory that explains the distribution of services, based on the fact that settlements serve as centers of market areas for services; larger settlements are fewer and farther apart than smaller settlements and provide services for a larger number of people who are willing to travel farther.

central place

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

central business district

The area of the city where retail and office activities are clustered.

business services

Services that primarily meet the needs of other businesses, including professional, financial, and transportation services

basic industries

Industries that sell their products or services primarily to consumers outside the settlement.

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