Economic Significance of Plains

The plains have influenced the human life in the following ways –

  • (1) Fertile Soil
  • (2) Growth of Industries
  • (3) Expansion of Means of Transport
  • (4) Centres of civilization
  • (5) Setting-up of Cities and Towns

Fertile Soil

The plains generally have deep and fertile soil. Since the plains have a flat surface, the means of irrigation are easily developed. Both these factors have made the plains agriculturally so important that they are often called ‘food baskets of the world’.

Growth of Industries

The rich agricultural resources especially of alluvial plains have helped in the growth of agro based industries. This has given employment to millions of people and has registered a marked increase in the national production and per capita income. Since the plains are thickly populated, plenty of labour is available for the intensive cultivation and for supplying work force for industries.

Expansion of Means of Transport

Since the plains have an even surface it favours the building of roads, airports and laying down of railway lines.

Centres of civilization

The plains have been the centres of many modern and ancient civilizations. The major river valley civilizations of the world have flourished in the plains only. Hence, they are aptly referred to as the cradles of civilization. For example, there are the civilization of the Indus and the Nile Valley.

Setting-up of Cities and Towns

Easy means of transport on land, the growth of agriculture and industries in plains have resulted in the setting-up and expansion of cities and towns. The most developed trade-centres and ports of the world are found in the plains only. Rome, Tokyo, Calcutta, Yangoon (Rangoon), Varanasi, Paris and other famous cities are situated in the plains. As much as 80% of the world’s population lives in the plains.


Plains are useful to man due to their fertile soils, growth of industries, development of transport, setting up of cities & towns and making them attractive as cradles of human civilisation.


Bibliography : NIOS Geography Book


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