In this first of four chapters on economic geography and location theory, Cantillon explains that settlements are based on the requirements of production, especially the quantity of labor, and the extent of the specialization and division of labor.
If one or more of the property owners reside in the village, the number of inhabitants will be greater in proportion to the domestic servants and artisans attracted there, and inns will be established for the convenience of the domestic servants and workmen who earn a living from the property owners.
If the land is only suitable for maintaining sheep, as in the sandy districts and moorlands, the villages will be fewer and smaller because only a few shepherds are required on the land.
If the land consists of sandy soil where only trees grow and there is no grass for livestock, and it is distant from towns and rivers, the trees will be useless for consumption. As in many areas of Germany, there will only be as many houses and villages as are needed to gather acorns and feed pigs in season. And, if the land is sterile, there will be no villages or inhabitants.