ELi5: Why are countries in cold climates more developed than those in hot climates?


I know this is not always the case, but why do developed countries generally have colder climates than the underdeveloped ones?

In: Other


Because of the industrial revolution that took place in Europe which enabled economies to thrive and as a result of that a few European countries were able to spread their empires over the globe.


As with many issue in history, this can be debated endlessly.

However, I’d start by noting that what you’re observing isn’t actually true.

Industrialization began in *specific* cold climates because:
– They didn’t have many resources.
– They did have the right resources (such as coal) for industrialization.

The English industrialized. The Eskimos didn’t.

If you’re going to build a factory, are you going to pay top dollar for prime cotton land many miles away from the steel/coal mines or are you going to build on otherwise useless rock near them?

Everything then flowed from there. The United States didn’t industrialize because it was cold. It just copied the English. Within the U.S., it industrialized near coal mines and on land that wasn’t particularly suitable for agriculture. Since cash crop agriculture tends to be a warm weather phenomenon, that means an industrial North and agricultural South. If you can pick some place to build a factory, you’re not going to pick prime cotton land far away from the mines you need to feed your factory.