AP Human Geography : Uneven Levels of Development

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Human Geography

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Uneven Levels Of Development

The Core-Periphery Model is used by geographers to describe ___________.

Possible Answers:

the environmental impact of globalization and industrialization in various regions of the planet

the division of the world into centers of pop culture diffusion, local cultural holdfasts, and a combination of the two

None of these answers is correct; the Core-Periphery Model is no longer used by geographers.

the social impact of the modern cultural hearths of North America, East Asia, and western Europe

the division of the world into major economic centers, centers of manufacturing, and extremely poor communities

Correct answer:

the division of the world into major economic centers, centers of manufacturing, and extremely poor communities

Explanation:

The Core-Periphery Model is used by geographers to describe the division of the world into three segments. The “core,” places like most of Europe and North America, where standards of living are high and most of the world’s products are consumed; the “semi-periphery,” where most manufacturing centers are and where standards of living are extremely variable; and the “periphery,” where most raw resources are harvested and people are extremely poor.

Example Question #2 : Uneven Levels Of Development

People in the poorest parts of the world are primarily engaged in _____________.

Possible Answers:

primary economic activities

primary and tertiary economic activities

secondary economic activities

primary and secondary economic activities

secondary and tertiary economic activities

Correct answer:

primary economic activities

Explanation:

In the poorest parts of the world the vast majority of the population is engaged in primary economic activities like farming, fishing, hunting, and mining. Although there might be some elements of secondary and tertiary economic activities in these countries, the bulk of secondary economic activities are undertaken by countries in the semi-developed world - like Mexico, China, Brazil, and regions of India.

Example Question #3 : Uneven Levels Of Development

Most of the people in wealthy countries are employed in __________.

Possible Answers:

primary and secondary economic activities

secondary and tertiary economic activities

tertiary and quinary economic activities

quaternary economic activities

tertiary and quaternary economic activities

Correct answer:

tertiary and quaternary economic activities

Explanation:

In wealthy countries as much as three-quarters (in a few cases close to a hundred percent) of the population is engaged in tertiary and quaternary economic activities. Due to the nature of the global economy the wealthiest countries can rely on the poorest countries to provide the bulk of their primary economic activities and the semi-developed countries to provide the bulk of their secondary economic activities.

Example Question #4 : Uneven Levels Of Development

In the Core-Periphery Model the “semi-periphery” includes all of the following except __________.

Possible Answers:

Brazil

Vietnam

India

South Africa

Mexico

Correct answer:

Vietnam

Explanation:

Countries in the “semi-periphery” are countries that have a standard of living lower than those in the “core,” but much higher than those in the “periphery.” They are almost exclusively centers of manufacturing and exporting. Of these countries, only Vietnam does not qualify as a country in the “semi-periphery.” It is considered to be in the “periphery” due to its low standard of living.

Example Question #2 : Uneven Levels Of Development

The “back-wash effect” can be best described as __________.

Possible Answers:

a situation whereby a nation’s political structure is altered by the changing nature of the economy

a function of economic change whereby one nation’s economy flourishes at the expense of another nation’s economy

None of these answers are correct.

a situation whereby a nation’s economic structure is altered by a change in the political system

a function of economic change whereby one region's economy flourishes at the expense of another region’s economy

Correct answer:

a function of economic change whereby one region's economy flourishes at the expense of another region’s economy

Explanation:

The “back-wash effect” refers to a phenomenon that has been observed on numerous occasions during the process of deindustrialization. It states that as one region of a state flourishes economically it does not necessarily improve the economy of another region, but instead, conversely, diminishes the significance and strength of another region. A classic example of this that is mentioned often is the “Rust Belt” experience of the Midwest.

Example Question #6 : Uneven Levels Of Development

What primarily separates the so-called “fast world” from the “slow world”?

Possible Answers:

All of these

The ability to vote and to buy and sell on an open market

Access to high-levels of education and relatively high levels of female empowerment

Access to reliable medical care and sufficient food security

Access to high-level telecommunication and transportation technology

Correct answer:

Access to high-level telecommunication and transportation technology

Explanation:

The “fast world,” as distinct from the “slow world,” is defined by high-level telecommunication and transportation technology. Although the other answer choices might be generally true of the differences between “fast world” countries and “slow world” countries they are not as close to the exact definition as the correct answer.

Example Question #3 : Uneven Levels Of Development

Which of the following regions has a high population density but a low level of economic development?

Possible Answers:

Japan

Sweden

Australia

India

United States

Correct answer:

India

Explanation:

While India is the second most populous nation in the world, the rate of economic development is much lower compared to nations like the United States (third most populous nation), Japan (tenth most populous nation), and Australia. Nations with high population density tend to be poverty-stricken as well, due to too many people in a given area competing for resources (agricultural, financial, etc). 

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