How Many Types Of Environment Are There?

The environment refers to our immediate surroundings in which all living and non-living components co-exist. It can be used to refer to the social, natural or built environment. The environment has a huge impact on an individual’s behaviour and intellect. Any change that occurs in a living entity either directly or indirectly is related to a change in his immediate surrounding.

Types of Environment

There are two different types of environment:

  • Geographical Environment
  • Man-made Environment

Geographical Environment

It consists of all components provided by nature and hence can be called as the natural environment. It is also referred to as the physical environment as it pertains to the physical requirements of life. These physical or geographic conditions are not dependent on the existence of humans. Sometimes, humans have no control over the physical conditions of the environment.

It includes natural resources, the earth’s surface, mountains, plains, land, water, deserts, storms, cyclones, volcanoes, oceans, climatic factors, and so on. It is also used to refer to biological situations such as complexities associated with plants and animals. The sustainability of the natural resources is known to contribute towards the economy of a country.

Man-Made Environment

This environment is used to refer to the one created by man in order to regulate and monitor certain environmental conditions. Some address it as a social-cultural environment. It can further be divided into two types of environments.

  • Inner Environment
  • Outer Environment

The Inner Environment

It is a social environment and it exists as long as a particular society exists. It pertains to the regulations, traditions, organizations and institutions. It involves customs and folkways which is existent in every human group. It is addressed with names such as non-material culture, social heritage etc. This heritage is essential for the social life of humans to flourish, it is known to have an influence on an individual’s life. The altered form of the economic and physical environment – artificial environment, are seen as two different aspects of the man-made environment.

The Outer Environment

Through advancement in the field of science and technology, humans have attempted to alter conditions of their physical environment. This outer environment is as a result of these modifications which includes modern infrastructure in cities, our homes and their associated amenities, our modes of communication and transport, our resorts to conveniences and luxury, different kinds of industry manufacturing luxurious commodities, electrical appliances and so on which ultimately aims at civilization and urbanization.

The inner and the outer environments are correlated and hence inseparable.

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Frequently Asked Questions


What are the different types of environment?

There are two different types of environment:

  • Geographical environment
  • Man-made environment

What is the geographical environment?

Geographical environment is the natural environment and contains all the components of nature such as mountains, rivers, land, water, deserts, storms, etc.


How is man-made environment different from the geographical environment?

This is the environment created artificially by man to regulate the environmental conditions. It includes the social environment that exists as long as the society exists. It includes, traditions, regulations, institutions and organizations. Whereas geographical environment is the natural environment.


What are the different types of environment pollution?

Air pollution, water pollution, soil pollution, radioactive pollution are the different types of environmental pollution.

Further Reading:

What Are 3 Environmental Issues?
Ecology: Organisms and Their Environment
How Does Human Affect The Environment?
Environmental Issues and Solutions


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  1. What are the Inner Environment , Outer Environment ?

    • inner environment refers to the society and cultural heritage created by man
      outer environment refers to the changes in the environment due to human intervention in the natural environment.

  2. what is air pollution? What harm can it cause?

    • Air pollution is said to occur when foreign particles are introduced into the atmosphere. Exposure to air pollution can cause irritation to the lungs and airways. Long term exposure can increase the risk of chronic respiratory disorders.

  3. I now know the difference between man-made and geographical environment. But are there any examples of both man-made and geographical environments? Thanks.

  4. What is the similarities between man-made environment and geographical environment