Primary sector: raw materials
Secondary sector: manufacturing
Tertiary sector: services
Quaternary sector: information services
Quinary sector: human services
|AGB Fisher · Colin Clark · Jean Fourastié|
|Sectors by ownership|
|Business sector · Private sector · Public sector · Voluntary sector|
|url= https://www.economicactivity.org/2017/07/quaternary-sector.html |website= Quaternary sector: definition, background, examples |title= Economic Activity
}}</ref> This consists of information technology; media; research and development; information-based services such as information-generation and information-sharing; and knowledge-based services such as consultation, education, financial planning, blogging, and designing. Other definitions describe the quaternary sector as pure services. This may consist of the entertainment industry, to describe media, culture, and government. This may be classified into an additional quinary sector.
The term reflects the analysis of the three-sector model of the economy, in which the primary sector produces raw materials used by the secondary sector to produce goods, which are then distributed to consumers by the tertiary sector.
Contrary to this implied sequence, however, the quaternary sector does not process the output of the tertiary sector. It has only limited and indirect connections to the industrial economy characterized by the three sector model.
In a modern economy, the generation, analysis and dissemination of information is important enough to warrant a separate sector instead of being a part of the tertiary sector. This sector evolves in well-developed countries where the primary and secondary sectors are a minority of the economy, and requires a highly educated workforce.
The tertiary and quaternary sectors form the largest part of the UK economy, employing 76% of the workforce.
Colin Clark's sector model of an economy undergoing technological change. In later stages, the quaternary sector of the economy grows - shown in red.
In Australia, the service sector accounts for 70 per cent of the country's economic activity. Within the service sector, however, more intellectual activities such as government, education, culture and media, can be further defined as the 'quaternary' sector of the economy. These activities are typically not measured in monetary value but they significantly contribute to the economy.