Economic Activity

a) With reference to one or more MEDC’s, explain why MEDC’s often contain examples of regions suffering de-industrialisation at the same time as other regions experience growth.

De-industrialisation is a decline in the number of people employed in secondary industry. Secondary industry is the process in which raw materials acquired from primary industry are made into other products. In the United Kingdom, de-industrialisation began to occur in the 1970’s. This was due to many things.

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One of the reasons de-industrialisation occurred was an increase in mechanization. Mechanization is where technological development improves and machines, robots and computers then do much of the manufacturing and so jobs are lost. This means that a lot less factories were needed and so there are a lot less jobs available.

Another reason for de-industrialisation is the decline in the traditional industries in the UK. These were industries such as iron and steel works. They declined due to a decline in demand for the products, as they could be made overseas for a lot less as labour was cheaper.

Much of the industry from the north of the UK was industries such as iron and steel works and because of this the north went into an industrial decline, where as the south began to grow in its industry. In the south, much of the industry was around the M4 corridor and the southeast. It grew here because it had close links to mainland Europe; it was close to London, which is the financial centre of the UK. It also had good communication link, the biggest and most affluent market and it is a foot-loose industry so does not need to be near any raw materials. It also has a very skilled labour force as the southeast contains many of the best universities, and the surrounding areas are very scenic which make them a good setting for places such as business parks.

Industry in the north also declined due to the new emphasis that was put on modern industry and producing high value products such as chemicals, electronics, bio-technology and telecommunications. This industry was not suited to the north as it did not have enough skilled labour or the equipment, and so much of this industry was located in the south or in developing countries such as Malaysia.

b) With reference to an example, in what ways are the problems created by the growth of manufacturing industry different from those caused by manufacturing decline.

The growth and decline of the manufacturing industry in the England is split up into two parts of the country. The North of England is the area in which manufacturing industry is declining, where as in the South of England it is growing. Both growth and decline cause problems.

The problems with the decline in the north are that there is now a high rate of unemployment, and because of this the areas economy declines. This decline in the economy is related to unemployment as people have less money to spend. The decline in the economy means that more shops and services close down and so even more jobs are lost. This means the whole area begins to look empty and derelict. In addition, because of the unemployment, a higher crime rate develops, which deters people away from moving to the area and many of the skilled people and young people leave to find better jobs in the south. This leaves the area with a mainly elderly population. An example of where this has happened is in Blaenavon is north Wales.

Although the decline of the manufacturing industry causes problems, the growth of it does as well. This is mainly seen in the south of the UK. The area tends to become overcrowded due to people migrating into the area looking for work. Due to the overcrowding, there are shortages of skilled jobs in the area and there is not enough work to go round for all the people migrating to the area. In addition, due to the influx of people into the area the noise and air pollution goes up due to more cars, aeroplanes and other forms of transport. This leads to a rise in congestion in the area. There also tends to be a housing shortage, so house prices increase and they begin to build on Greenfield sites around the city. An example of this is in the southeast.

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