how does geography influence the way people live

How does geography influence the way people live? Geography plays a significant role in shaping many facets of human existence.

Many people think that geography only determines whether a particular area is inhabitable or not, but that is not true.

It profoundly affects people’s lifestyles and how they adapt to the available climate patterns and food.

So, how do geographic factors affect the way we live?

Geography influences economic progress, cultural evolution, and political stability through factors like climate, lifestyle, health, natural hazards, etc. 

How Does Geography Influence the Way People Live?

geography's influence on people's lifestyles

Geography has a direct effect on how people live in a particular area.

Humans migrate to different areas and that change of geography compels them to adapt to new cultures and living conditions.

Let’s have a look at how variables like weather and geography affect where people choose to live, what they spend their money on, and how prosperous they are. 


The climate is an important geographical factor since it has numerous effects on human life.

The climate has a significant impact on:

  • Human settlement patterns
  • Lifestyle and Culture
  • Health 

Human Settlements

human settlements

The location of individuals and their homes has a major impact on people’s daily lives.

When the weather is mild, the land is fertile, and there is a steady supply of water, people are more likely to settle there.

Conversely, harsh environments like scorching deserts or freezing arctic areas pose special difficulties for human settlement.

In order to survive under these conditions, humans must adopt new ways of life, such as:

  • Building homes that can resist the harsh climate
  • Donning protective clothes
  • Establishing systems to gain access to water and food 

Lifestyle and Culture

lifestyle and culture

The climate is a major element in determining how people live and how they express their culture.

Weather and temperature extremes directly impact how people dress, eat, and go about their daily lives.

People in areas with colder winters tend to engage in winter sports and other indoor activities; they also tend to dress in warmer, insulating clothing.

In contrast, people living in warmer areas tend to choose water-based or cooling activities, wear light, airy clothing, and consume fresh fruits and vegetables that flourish in the heat.

Fact: Climatic adjustments due to a change in geography not only affect daily living, but also help give different societies their own distinctive identities. 


The climate is a major factor in determining the health status of people throughout.

It is a geographical factor that influences the occurrence and spread of numerous diseases and health problems.


The prevalence of disease-carrying insects in the tropics makes vector-borne diseases like malaria and dengue fever more widespread in those areas.

Asthma and bronchitis are more common in colder regions because the respiratory system has to work more to combat the dry, irritant air.

Heatstroke and hypothermia are both potentially fatal conditions that can result from prolonged exposure to high temperatures.

Fact: To create effective public health plans and treatments, it is crucial to comprehend the role climate plays in influencing health. 


Topography is yet another component of geography and refers to the land’s physical features, which can have a direct impact on how people live.

factors such as topography

Topography can directly affect:

  • Human settlements
  • Transportation
  • Economic Activity   

Human Settlements

The physical features of the terrain, or topography, are an important geographical component that shapes human settlement patterns.

Flat, fertile land close to water sources is highly desirable for human settlement because it ensures a reliable food supply and a constant supply of drinkable water.

But there are special difficulties associated with living in places like deserts, dense forests, and mountainous regions.

dense forest factors in human settlement

These regions are typically less attractive for human habitation mainly because of their:

  • Limited fertile land
  • Poor water resources
  • Possible isolation

Despite these difficulties, people have found ways to adapt to their surroundings by developing unique agricultural techniques, finding new sources of water, and banding together to form tight-knit communities. 


Because of its influence on the construction of transportation infrastructure, geography directly affects how people live.

Problems arise in engineering and infrastructure development when working with terrain that is mountainous, steep, or uneven.

Complex terrain can impede connectivity and accessibility, making it more difficult for people and products to move across certain places.

Transporting things across great distances or via difficult terrain becomes more costly and time-consuming as a result.

Fact: As topography affects the convenience of reaching markets, resources, and business opportunities, it can have a negative effect on a region's GDP growth. 

Economic Activities

economic activities

Topography has a significant impact on the types of economic endeavors and industries that thrive in a certain area.

One of the most important factors in deciding how locals make a living is whether or not they have ready access to farmable land, clean water, and other natural resources.

Large-scale farming and food production are often the principal economic activities in areas with vast, fertile land and abundant water sources.

In contrast, mining enterprises may flourish in regions with abundant mineral reserves.

Therefore, geography determines a region’s economic profile, from the most prosperous industries to the means by which residents support themselves. 

Natural Resources

natural resources

Minerals, water, and farmable land are all vital to human existence and play a pivotal role in shaping how civilizations and economies advance. 

Economic Growth

The availability of natural resources in a given area is a key determinant of economic development.

The exploitation and export of these assets, which can create jobs and generate cash, can lead to economic growth in resource-rich regions.

However, if the economy becomes too dependent on its natural resources, it could collapse.

Reduced revenue and employment losses may occur from resource depletion or changes in global demand.   

Environmental Impact

environmental impact

The distribution of natural resources is a major environmental aspect.

There are usually severe environmental effects associated with the extraction and use of these materials.

Clearing forests for human habitation or industrial or agricultural development is one example of deforestation.

Due to mining and industrial pollution, contamination of water supplies, air, and soil threatens human health and the environment.

The destruction of ecosystems caused by the extraction of natural resources endangers many plant and animal species.

Responsible and sustainable resource management is essential to reducing these negative impacts on ecosystems and communities, which can influence people’s and animals’ quality of life. 



Access to resources, modes of transportation, and trading opportunities are all greatly influenced by your geographical position


There is a correlation between a country’s proximity to a significant trade route (e.g., a port or a navigable river) and its economic growth.

More money, more jobs, more people from other cultures interacting are all possible outcomes. 



 A nation’s position in the world and its relationships with other nations are both affected by its physical location.

Isolated regions may find it difficult to sustain their political influence in the global arena, while strategic places may become targets for conquest or alliance building.

When geopolitical circumstances threaten a region’s peace and safety, it can have far-reaching consequences for the people who live there. 


The availability of goods, services, and opportunities can vary depending on your location.

People in rural locations may have a harder time getting the medical treatment, education, and job opportunities essential to their health and prosperity. 

Natural Hazards

natural hazards

Natural hazards are sometimes associated with geographic location, which is why they can have an impact on how people live in a certain area.

Threats to human life, property, and infrastructure are just some of the consequences of natural disasters including earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, and storms. 

Economic Impact

Natural disasters can have far-reaching effects due to their locational factors.

Damage to transportation networks, ports, and other essential infrastructure from natural disasters can impede commerce.

economic impact

Destroying infrastructure not only has a negative effect on the local economy but can also force people to flee their homes and leave them without a means of subsistence.

Fact: Developing resilience strategies and investing in disaster risk reduction measures becomes vital in improving the way people live in certain geographic locations. 


How does geography influence the way people live? Geography is a major influence on people’s daily lives all across the globe.

It affects not only the water, arable land, and energy supplies at their disposal, but also their culture, social connections, and economic opportunities.

Ultimately, promoting sustainable living and ensuring the continued flourishing of the world’s different ecosystems and cultures depend on a deeper understanding of geography’s enormous impact on human lives.