GCSE Geography: Development - Physical Factors

24th August 2017

GCSE Geography Revision - Made Easy!

Everything you need to know about Physical Factors Influencing Development!


A country's social, infrastructural and political development can be both measured and influenced in different ways. Physical factors such as natural hazards or climate, and human factors such as the economy and social discontent, can influence how quickly or well a country develops.


Physical factors are based on the natural world, and the differeing characteristics of nature found in different countries across the world. Certain regions of the planet will have natural circumstances that no other country may have, that influence how much further ahead or behind they are in terms of development when compared with other countries or an older version of itself.


Types of physical factors that can affect a country's development:


  • Climate - This refers to the weather characteristics of a particular country. Some countries may have too much rainfall for the land to cope with, causing seasonal flooding every year. Other countries may have such high temparatires and such little rainfall that droughts are caused leaving citizens malnourished. Climates like these can also ecourage the habitation of certain animals such as mosquitos. This can be dangerous for those living in these regions, as animals like mosquitos can carry deseases like malaria which can further affect development if those affected cannot work and bring wealth to a family or grow the economy.


  • Natural Hazards - Damaging natural events caused by high and low pressure, climate, tectonic plates and so on, can delay a country's development. Hazards like tsnuamis, earthquakes, droughts and tornados/hurricanes can tear a country or region apart. This means that any money that has grown into a country's economy will be used to help the areas affected rebuild, rather than on maintaining a country's steady growth, or by spending it on infrastucture.


  • Landlocked Countries - A landlacked country is one that does not touch the coast and has countries bordering it on every side. This makes transporting of goods manufactured in a particular country difficult, as traders have to travel through other countries to export their goods around the world, taking up extra time and money that other countries bordering the coast wouldn't have to worry about. This can slow down development. Landlocked countries also have the problem of access to technology. Tech like fibre optic cables providing access to internet services run along the ocean floor, and again only countries that are on the coastline have easy access to these.


  • Natural Resources - Some countries have high wealth becuase they are in a region with an abundance of natural resources. Oil, gas, coal, or jewels may be found in a particular region of the world, which they can then sell on to other developed countries and create a profit. It is dangerous however to focus on this in measuring a country's economy and wealth, as while a country might be very wealthy, those at the very top might take hold of al the money rather than distribute it fairly across a country's population (see our music video on "The Human Development Index"). It is also important that a country doesn't put its sole focus on developement by owning natural resouces. Education and skills taught during schooling are just as, if not potentially more, important. This sustains development into the future generations. Japan is a good case study to use here.


Be sure to check out our music video on "Physical Factors Influencing Development", as well as our other tracks on Development found in the GCSE Geography section of our website, try and remember the lyrics, and then have a go at answering our test!


Back to all blog posts


Keeping you posted

Keep up-to-date with the latest news, products and events from LearnThruMusic.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more content.

See all blog posts

Recent Posts


Responsive, lightweight, fast, synchronized with CSS animations, fully customizable modal window plugin with declarative configuration and hash tracking.