- A Central Place is a settlement which provides one or more services for the population living around it.
- Simple basic services (e.g. grocery stores) are said to be of low order while specialized services (e.g. universities) are said to be of high order.
- Having a high order service implies there are low order services around it, but not vice versa.
- Settlements which provide low order services are said to be low order settlements.
- Settlements that provide high order services are said to be high order settlements.
- The sphere of influence is the area of under influence of the Central Place.
- The minimum population size required to profitably maintain a service is the threshold population.
- Factors affecting a fall in the threshold population are
- A decrease in population
- Change in tastes
- Introduction of substitutes
Conclusions That Can be Made About Central Places
- The larger the settlements, the fewer their number
- The larger a settlement, the farther away a similar size settlement is
- The Range increases as the population increases
- The larger the settlement, the higher the order of its services. Deviations to this rule are:
- Tourist resorts that have a small population but large number of functions.
- Dormitory towns that have a large population but a small number of functions
Walter Christaller (April 21st 1893 – March 9th 1969) was a German geographer whose main contribution to Geography is 'Central Place Theory' first published in 1933.