Difference between Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Sector With their Comparisons

The primary, secondary and tertiary sectors represent various business types and the goods they procure and sell in an economic setup. Each sector is interdependent on the other so that the economy as a whole functions properly and efficiently.

The primary sector is where the materials for the secondary sector are gathered. In the secondary sector, the product is then made into consumable item(s) which is then distributed by the tertiary sector.    

Economists such as AGB Fisher and Colin Clark were the supporters of these models in the early 20th century.

Difference Between, Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Sectors - UPSC Indian Economy

As this article will highlight the key differences between the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors, candidates writing the IAS Exam this year will find it useful.

Aspirants can find more Difference Between Articles, by visiting the linked page.

Different Economic sectors in India

Before we go into detail about the difference between Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Sector, like every other economy in the world the Indian economy is divided into Primary, Secondary and Tertiary sectors. They are further divided into organized and unorganized sector while in terms of ownership, they are divided into public sector and private sector.

The differences between the three sectors are given in the table below:                                                                      

Differences between Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Sector

Primary Sector Secondary Sector Tertiary Sector
It is known as the agricultural and allied sector services It is known as the manufacturing sector It is known as the service sector
This sector provides raw materials for goods and services This sector transforms one good into another by creating more utility from it The tertiary sector provides useful services for the primary and secondary sectors
The primary sector is unorganized and uses traditional techniques The secondary sector is organized and uses better methods of production This sector is well organized and uses modern-day logistics techniques to perform its functions
Activities in this sector consist of agriculture, forestry and mining It includes manufacturing units, small scale units, large firms and multinational corporations Banking, insurance trade and communications come under this sector
In most developing nations such as India, this sector is where a large section of the workforce is employed, in comparison to developed nations The employment rate is in equilibrium as a specialized set of skills is required to find employment in this sector This sector’s employment share has increased in the ensuing years

For a thorough preparation in UPSC Indian Economy, the following study materials will be helpful for candidates in their exam preparation:

Difference between Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Sectors: UPSC Notes – Download PDF Here

FAQ about Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Sectors


Which is the largest sector of India?

The services sector, that is tertiary sector, is the largest sector of India. Gross Value Added (GVA) at current prices for the services sector is estimated at 96.54 lakh crore INR in 2020-21. The services sector accounts for 53.89% of total India’s GVA of 179.15 lakh crore Indian rupees. Whereas, the industry sector contributes 25.92% and Agriculture and allied sector share is 20.19%.

Why is secondary sector important for Indian economy?

The secondary sector is important because it promotes the development of the Primary and the Tertiary sectors. It also contributes significantly to the GDP of India and employment basket. It also helps to convert the products from primary sector into consumer usable products.

Candidates can find the general pattern of the UPSC Exams by visiting the UPSC Syllabus page. For more articles and exam-related preparation materials, refer to the links given in the table below:

Related Links

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Insight Current Affairs PDF World Current Affairs UPSC Syllabus in Hindi PDF
Green Revolution in India Pradhan Mantri Matritva Vandana Yojana Project Tiger

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