Difference Between Physical Geography and Human Geography

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 10, 2022, 13:38

Physical geography and human geography both fall under the ambit of Geographical Sciences. However, despite being under the umbrella category of Geography, physical geography and human geography - as the names suggest - are completely different from one another.

The Major Difference Between Physical Geography and Human Geography is that while the former studies the various physical aspects of the earth - including its soil structure, plant life, water, etc., human geography introspects the study of religion and culture. The job of physical geographers is to aid in decision-making with regard to majorly the management of natural resources, while the job of human geographers is to help in urban planning and formulation of international business models.

Key Difference Between Physical Geography and Human Geography

As said earlier, there are numerous parameters distinguishing physical geography and human geography. Since both of these concepts are important in competitive examinations, especially for those having Geography as an elective, here is a comprehensive table featuring all the key Differences Between Physical Geography and Human Geography -

SL no.Physical GeographyHuman Geography
1Physical geography tends to study the earth's various natural processes and resources, including plate tectonics, climate, water resources, etc.Human geography studies human behaviour and defines its implications and impact on the physical world.
2

Physical geography can be segregated into different parts -

  • Glaciology - Studies the glaciers and ice sheets formed on the earth's surface.
  • Geomorphology - studies the shape of the earth's crust and its formation.
  • Climatology - Studies the climate of the earth.
  • Hydrology - Studies the water found on the earth's surface.

The various sub-sections of human geography include -

  • Urban geography - Studies cities and urban areas.
  • Development geography - Studies and measures the standard of living and quality of life of people and cities across the globe.
  • Historical geography - Studies the implication and limitations of geography as an educational discipline in the past.
  • Cultural geography - Studies the institutions and parameters of religions and governments across the world.
3Impetus is provided more on the "location" aspect of the region while conducting surveys and studies. For example, when studying the tectonic plate shifting in Kolkata, the physical geographers will not focus on the population of the area and urban planning.Impetus is provided on both location and "people" of a particular area it tends to study. For example, a typical study of human geography will focus on why a portion of the population of UAE is Malayalis from Kerala, India.
4.Physical geography studies physical aspects of the earth, such as soil structure, plant life, water, etc.Human geography introspects the study of religion and culture

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The above were some of the prime Difference Between Physical Geography and Human Geography. Although these two concepts fall under the broad subject of geographical sciences, both of these are two distinct concepts that need to be learned and mastered separately.

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FAQs on Difference Between Physical Geography and Human Geography

Q.1. What is the major Difference Between Physical Geography and Human Geography?

The Major Difference Between Physical Geography and Human Geography is that while the former studies the various physical aspects of the earth - including its soil structure, plant life, water, etc., human geography introspects the study of religion and culture.

Q.2. Enumerate the job scope of human geographers with regard to the Difference Between Physical Geography and Human Geography.

The job scope of human geographers with regard to the Difference Between Physical Geography and Human Geography comprises urban planning and the establishment of new business models, among various other things.

Q.3. Enumerate the job scope of physical geographers with regard to the Difference Between Physical Geography and Human Geography.

The job scope of physical geographers - with regards to the Difference Between Physical Geography and Human Geography - comprises studying and researching the various natural phenomenon on the earth, including studying the earth's climate, and the tectonic movements of the plates, etc.

Q.4. Enumerate the impetus given on "location" with regard to the Difference Between Physical Geography and Human Geography.

The impetus given on "location" with regard to the Difference Between Physical Geography and Human Geography is that in the case of the former, the impetus is only on the "location," while in the case of the latter, the impetus is on both, location and people.