Secondary Industry

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Secondary Industry

The Secondary Industry plays a key role in driving the economy of a country. It also compels the global economy to expand and provides opportunities for countries to develop trade agreements. The Primary Industry extracts raw materials while the Secondary Industry uses these yields to make the products we use. The refined goods we purchase in our shops present a typical example of products that arise from the Secondary Industry. This industry plays a key part in allowing us to have food on the table without undertaking our own fishing in the morning.

The oil extracted from the natural resources needs refinement before we use it as energy resources. The forestry sector provides us with trees, but it needs a process to make them into suitable wood pieces or furniture. We need industries to transform minerals into useable products for example, the vehicle or technology industry.

Each country needs to provide its citizens with food, water, electricity, cars, and houses that they can buy. To provide these goods, manufacturing becomes necessary. A house needs cement, bricks, wood, and tiles, for example. The Secondary Industry needs to use the original available material to produce the goods we need to build homes.

The Secondary Industry shifts the collection process to a production phase. Before we discuss any further detail, first let us see what it means.

What are Secondary Industries?

The industrial sector or Secondary Industry of a country’s economy relates to the manufacturing of processed products. The Secondary Industry produces the products regularly used by society. For example, it includes steel, motor vehicle production and technology. The uniqueness in the secondary sector relates to the opposite action of producing goods than collecting raw material.

This specific sector, also referred to as the manufacturing industry, uses the raw material provided by the Primary Industries and processes them into consumer products. The other aspect that relates to Secondary Industries involves their ability to transform existing secondary goods into more technologically developed products. It also focuses on the development of capital as well as construction or energy-related products.

What types of Secondary Industries exist?

One may divide the Secondary Industry into macro or micro scales and heavy or light productions. It comprises a significant organisational approach and focuses on specialised labour. The output of these industries relates to steel or iron, heavy or light vehicles, alternative energy, for example, solar farms, meat produce, or cement production.

Smaller Secondary Industries focus on clothing manufacturers, craftwork, food production, electronics, or computer hardware.

Other examples within in the Secondary Industry include the following:

  • Artisan activities and inventions
  • Chemical industries
  • Oil refinery
  • Brewing plants
  • Sugar mills

Read more about the Classification of Industry

What are the characteristics of Secondary Industries?

The main characteristics surrounding the Secondary Industries relate to the production component and manufacturing of goods. The Tertiary Sector subsequently buys these produced goods from the Secondary Industry.

The Industrial Revolution was responsible for bringing about and implementing the Secondary Industry. Examples of new inventions include the railway sector, power stations, and cotton fabrics. The industrial industries also led to a multitude of employment opportunities for people in the UK, for example. Some of the most popular products in the UK relate to the vehicle industry. Other aspects include the finished product of extracted oil. In effect, the raw oil material originates from the Primary Industry, but the refined version comes from the Secondary sector.

What are the key positives related to Secondary Industry?

The Secondary Industry comprises many positives that drive the economy of a country.

Some of these positives relate to the following:

  • It allows for the diversification of the economy. Meaning it prevents the economy from relying on the Primary Industry only and creates different employment opportunities. 
  • It allows for an increase in employment income for the country’s citizens or foreign workers.
  • It increases the value of products that subsequently improve the economic status of a country.
  • It allows for the development of specialised career positions, for example, a fitter and turner. 

What are the key negatives related to Secondary Industry?

The Secondary Industry also includes many negatives that require constant control. These drawbacks impact their ability to produce the goods we need. Some of these negatives relate to the following:

  • Various countries located inland without a seaport struggle to export their goods to neighbouring areas or places further away. Countries bordered on all sides continuously need to negotiate transport access to allow their delivery trucks to enter. If you experience a disagreement with one of your neighbouring countries, you may struggle to transport your goods to a foreign buyer. 
  • The Secondary Industry developed a problematic stigma because of its role in air and water pollution, for example. The coal industries especially received criticism because of the significant level of discharge in the earth’s atmosphere. The more pressure the Secondary Industries experience because of their pollution outputs, the more they sometimes struggle to survive. Many secondary sectors closed because of their inability to keep the environment safe. The complexity of this matter remains with finding a processing method that prevents rivers, streams, water, land, and air from becoming overly polluted.  
  • From a worker’s point of view, the Secondary Industry sometimes focuses on mechanising the sector. It subsequently influences the workforce and the ability to create employment for people who participate in this sector.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main sectors in the Secondary Industry environment? 

The Secondary Industry’s main sectors focus on the production of goods. It uses the primary materials and transforms them into useable products. For example, fish removed from the sea are processed and placed in food-safe tins. Diamonds extracted from underground are used in jewellery.

Is the Secondary Industry typical of a developing or developed country? 

The Secondary Industry remains positioned in developing and developed countries. Developing countries rely more on their primary sectors, but the secondary industry allows for the refinement of various goods. Developing countries sometimes use small-scale industries, and represent the role of the manufacturer. For example, smaller businesses will utilise raw materials, for example, converting trees into useable wood pieces or planks.

What are the effects of the Secondary Industry on the economy of a country? 

The Secondary Industry plays a key role to maintain a country’s economy. Oil, technology and mineral products regularly form part of various trade agreements. The upkeep of the secondary industry, therefore, requires constant development to maintain a strong economic sector.

Can we live without the Secondary Industry? 

Global attempts continue unabated to find new and modern ways of developing sustainable methods to survive. In this case, the Secondary Industry plays a significant role. Raw material requires refinement and constant production. Developed countries seem to focus more on advancing their tertiary industries, but the Secondary component remains vital.

Is the Secondary Industry experiencing threats? 

The biggest threat the Secondary Industry experiences relates to its influence on climate change. The subsequent impact of atmospheric, water and land pollution has evolved into a sensitive debate. Developed countries attempt to change the manner in which these industries operate and determine cleaner ways of production efforts. Secondary Industries experience threats in the sense that they may need to change their general outlook and workforce.

Frequently Asked Questions

What characterizes the secondary industry sector?

The secondary sector involves manufacturing and processing raw materials into finished goods, including activities like construction, manufacturing, and assembly.

How does the automotive industry fit into the secondary sector?

The automotive industry manufactures vehicles, making it a prominent example of the secondary sector’s manufacturing activities.

Give an example of a secondary industry related to construction.

Construction companies are part of the secondary sector, involved in building infrastructure, residential properties, and commercial structures.

How does the textile industry contribute to the secondary sector?

The textile industry involves processing fibres and materials to produce fabrics, clothing, and other textile products, representing a significant secondary industry.

What is the role of assembly in the secondary industry sector?

Assembly involves putting together components and parts to create a final product, such as assembling electronics or manufacturing machinery.


Cite/Link to This Article

  • "Secondary Industry". Geography Revision. Accessed on April 22, 2024.

  • "Secondary Industry". Geography Revision, Accessed 22 April, 2024.

  • Secondary Industry. Geography Revision. Retrieved from