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"Subsistence" redirects here. For the Catholic ecclesiological doctrine of Vatican II, see "Subsistit in".

A subsistence economy is a non-monetary economy which relies on natural resources to provide for basic needs, through hunting, gathering, and subsistence agriculture. "Subsistence" means supporting oneself at a minimum level; in a subsistence economy, economic surplus is minimal and only used to trade for basic goods, and there is no industrialization.[1][2]

In the history of the world, before the first cities, all humans lived in a subsistence economy. As urbanization, civilization, and division of labor spread, various societies moved to other economic systems at various times. Some remain relatively unchanged, ranging from uncontacted peoples, to poor areas of developing countries, to some cultures that choose to retain a traditional economy.

Capital can be generally defined as assets invested with the expectation that their value will increase, usually because there is the expectation of profit, rent, interest, royalties, capital gain or some other kind of return. However, this type of economy cannot usually become wealthy by virtue of the system, and instead requires further investments to stimulate economic growth. In other words, a subsistence economy only possesses enough goods to be used by a particular nation to maintain its existence and provides little to no surplus for other investments.[citation needed]


  • Pastoralism, the raising of grazing animals:
    • Pastoral nomadism — all members of the pastoral society follow the herd throughout the year.
    • Transhumance or agro-pastoralism — part of the society follows the herd, while the other part maintains a home village.
    • Ranch agriculture — non-nomadic pastoralism with a defined territory.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/subsistence-economy.html
  2. ^ http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/edumat/sustecon/others/subsistence.htm Chief Seattle to President Pierce regarding sale of land

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subsistence_economy — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

48 news items

New Vision

New Vision
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:18:45 -0700

Augustus Nuwagaba managing consultant of REEV Consult International a poverty eradication consultant said 68% of Uganda's population is still non- monetized, with a large subsistence economy. “The main stay of the economy which is agriculture ...
The Herald
Thu, 30 Oct 2014 19:48:45 -0700

We are living on imports, consumptive imports hence yes we are in a subsistence economy. The Government sector is no different, 76 percent of the budget is recurrent expenditure, mostly wages for the civil service. Our population is not growing though ...
New Era
Wed, 29 Oct 2014 00:34:00 -0700

Last Friday evening I had the honour to have been invited to address a dinner in Otjiwarongo to celebrate 80 years of the existence and, let me hasten to add, the contributions of the Farmers' Union, to be exact, the Otjiwarongo Boerevereniging in the ...


Wed, 29 Oct 2014 13:15:00 -0700

Set in the near future, it looks like civilization is collapsing all over again, turning at least one part of the world—an arid stretch of the States where water is the premium commodity—into a black subsistence economy always on the edge of lawlessness.
The Delta Discovery
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 12:52:30 -0700

When it comes to the subsistence economy, Dale and his family are considered wealthy. He has a lot of wild meat, waterfowl, fish, and rare game to share. He is always blessed with game and hardly ever comes home empty handed. Public Service: Alice and ...


Wed, 29 Oct 2014 02:22:30 -0700

Again the subsistence economy of the country has led to survival regimes. All governments in Nepal since 1951 were characterize by survival regimes. Such regimes were characterized by the lack of professionalization and institution building both of ...
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 14:53:47 -0700

He explained that the project seeks to enhance commodity market development aimed at transforming the agricultural sector from a traditional subsistence economy to a modern market-oriented commercial sector. President Jammeh earlier this year ...
Economic and Political Weekly
Wed, 08 Oct 2014 00:52:30 -0700

This resulted in an “accumulation” economy for a few, replacing the subsistence economy for many. Although the fisher groups were never rich, they never had to resort to casual labour in order to meet their basic needs. Entering the urban informal ...

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