natural elements and social elements



We explain what natural elements and social elements are in geography, their differences and examples of each.

Natural and social elements often exist in combination.

What are the natural and social elements?

In geography, we speak of natural elements and social elements to refer to the two fundamental types of components of the geographical space, that is, to the two categories of objects that constitute it. These elements occupy a place and a territorial space, and usually exist in a combined way.

However, they can be distinguished from each other easily, since the natural elements are the result of the naturespontaneous, while the social elements are derived from the actions and history of human being. This difference between one and the other can be summarized as follows:

Natural elements Social elements
They are created by nature, spontaneously. They are the result of human action and the modifications that it incorporates into its environment.
They have an existence of their own and independent of the human being. They are circumscribed to human life: culture, the society, the economy.
Make up the environment and the various ecosystems. They make up human civilization.
They can be economically exploited by humans. They allow human beings to live in an organized and safe way.

Paying attention to these two types of elements of geographic space, we can detail the scenery, and observe what is unique in each place.

Examples of natural elements

Natural elements are all those not created by human beings.

Some examples of natural elements are the following:

Examples of social elements

Agriculture is a social element that uses natural elements.

Some examples of social elements are the following:

  • The cities, towns, villages, hamlets and all kinds of human settlement, including cemeteries.
  • Any type of buildings: houses, buildings, palaces, temples, etc.
  • The works of engineering: bridges, stairs, streets, squares, highways, etc.
  • The political boundaries and boundaries between countries Y nations, as well as the countries and nations themselves.
  • The cultural traits of the human population: the language they speak, the religion who practice, the traditions they share.
  • The walls, fences, fences and other barriers built by the human being.
  • The fields, the farms, the farms and all areas of agricultural activity, as well as the mines and sawmills.
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