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Human Geography, Interactive Study Questions: Chapter 11

Click on each question to check your answer.

1. How does the definition of an urban centre affect the relative ratios of rural to urban population?

The boundaries of an urban centre affect the population count contained within it, and the threshold population selected to define an urban centre both vary. If the threshold population is high, then the ratio of rural population is higher, and if the threshold population is low, then the rural population is proportionally smaller.

2. Why do urban centres tend to locate on a body of water?

Bodies of water represent natural breaks in transportation and urban centres are defined by their transportation links to other regions. These links have communication advantages that attract a wide range of economic opportunity.

3. What is the difference between feudal and capitalist settlement patterns in rural areas?

Field patterns in feudal political structures have an open pattern. Capitalist relations tend to have enclosed field patterns, reflecting individual ownership rights.

4. What are some key differences between urban and rural ways of life?

Rural ways of life have been found to reflect fairly rigid social structures and hierarchies. Urban ways of life are characterized by increased anonymity, a greater division of labour, greater social heterogeneity, and enhanced mobility.

5. Under what conditions does the rank-size rule tend to occur?

The rank-size rule distribution is noticed most in large countries, countries with a long history of urbanization, and countries that are economically and politically complex.