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Geography and Economics

2 Euro coin with map of EuropeOne might make you think of maps, the other of graphs - but there's a lot of overlap between geography and economics.

What is economics?

Economics is the study of how people create and consume goods and services. This covers everything from government tax policies to why drinks cost so much in cinemas. But it’s not all about numbers: a big part of economics is looking at how people behave and how they respond to changes in their situation.

How do economics and geography meet?

There are some very simple ways in which geography affects economics: for example, long distances and difficult terrain affect the ability to distribute goods, while factors like climate might affect the kind of goods and services that people want. The distribution of natural resources also has a huge affect on the economy.

But there are also human elements to economic geography. For example, you might look at how economic factors determine where and how people live, such as when people move to places where they can get a job more easily.

How can I study economic geography?

Aspects of a standard geography course might have some economic content, but if you want a strong economic focus you may wish to consider a geography and economics course. Universities offering these courses include Queen Mary University of London and the University of Reading.

Where can economic geography lead?

There are many careers in which economic geography is relevant. Examples include:

  • Town planning
  • Location analysis (helping businesses to work out the best place to base themselves)
  • Market research
  • Sustainability and conservation work

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