The primary sector, the secondary sector and the tertiary sector are the different sectors into which the economic activity of a country or region is divided. Some economists claim that there is also the quaternary sector and the quinary sector.
Economic sectors differ from each other by the resources they use and the processes they involve. They include activities that range from obtaining raw materials and industrialization, to the production of goods and services.
The primary sector marks the beginning of the production chain. It is made up of all those activities that are responsible for the extraction of raw materials from nature. For instance: agriculture, mining, fishing.
In countries and regions where the primary sector is more technologically advanced, higher output is produced in less time and less labor is used.
The secondary sector includes those artisanal and industrial activities that use the resources obtained by the primary sector to make new products. For instance: food processing, auto industry.
It is a very important sector for the economic development of countries, since the industries in this sector take raw materials and combine them to produce a product with greater added value.
The secondary sector is generally divided between the production of consumer goods and capital goods (those that are used to produce other goods or services, such as machinery).
The tertiary sector, also called the service sector, is responsible for intangible objects (goods and services) destined to satisfy the needs of the other sectors of production and consumers. For instance: television services, commerce, transport.
Quaternary and quinary sector
The quaternary sector encompasses the intellectual aspect of the economy, the component that is based on human capital that adds value to society. For instance: research, technology, education.
There is also the so-called quinary sector that includes the highest rank of decision-making in an economy or society. For instance: government laws, government officials.
Examples of primary sector
Secondary sector examples
Examples of tertiary sector
Hotels and tourist services
|Restaurants and cafes
Quaternary sector examples
Investigation and development
|Generation of information