7 Difference between Needs and Wants (With Table)

Economics is a social science that deals with the production, consumption, and distribution of products or services. But all economic resources are scarce in nature. Building a budget help to enhance human sustenance.

Budget balancing entails making choices when it comes to the allocation of resources. It is the best option for satisfying human wants and needs.

Human wants and needs are crucial terminologies used in economics. Many learners usually use needs and want interchangeably when explaining the satisfaction of humans. but this is not the right way.

So, what is the main difference between needs and wants? The former is an individual basic requirement that must be fulfilled whereas the latter is described goods and services that humans must-have. 

This article provides a detailed explanation of the differences between needs and wants in a tabular form. Take the time to read through and learn to use the economic terms in the right manner.

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Comparison Table (Needs Vs Wants)

Basic Terms NeedsWants
MeaningRefers to those basic requirements that foster survivalRefers to those things that people desire to have in order to lead an improved life
NatureLimitedUnlimited
ImportanceA must-have for survivalDesires or wishes of people
RepresentNecessityDesires
SurvivalEssentialUnessential
ChangeTend to remain the same throughoutProne to changes with time
Non-fulfillmentResult in diseases or deathResult in disappointment

What Are Needs?

Needs refer to essential things that humans require to live a healthy life. Examples of basic needs are food, clothing, and shelter.

Education and healthcare have become part of the basic needs to help human beings lead an improved life.

These things should be given the first priority unless someone wants to become sick and even die. They are part and parcel of life.

What Are Wants?

Wants are those things that human beings would like to have either immediately or at a later stage in life. These are the things that trigger business activities.

Wants are not universal the same. Someone may have the desire to own a car and the other one desires to travel around the world in luxury hotels.

Main Difference between Needs and Wants

  1. Needs refer to those basic requirements that foster survival whereas wants to refer to human desires that foster improve life.
  2. The nature of needs are limited while those of wants are unlimited
  3. Needs are must things to have while wants are simply the desires of human beings
  4. Wants tend to represent wishes whereas needs represent necessities
  5. Needs are essential for human beings whereas wants are non-essential
  6. Needs tend to remain the same throughout whereas wants are prone to changes with time
  7. Non-fulfillment of needs may lead to death or illness whereas wants have no impact in the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Love a Want or a Need?

Humans have the desire to be loved and nurtured. Therefore, love is the most basic and fundamental need to bring comfort in a relationship.

What are the Basic Needs of Man?

Human beings have basic needs. Examples of these basic needs are food, shelter, clothes, water, air, and medication to enhance survival.  Failure to meet these basic needs might result in death.

Can One be Happy without Love?

Romantic relationships do not guarantee a happy life. Some people are happier living alone while others find it fulfilling. Happiness has some close correlation with love but not that much.

Can a Human Survive without Love?

Absolutely. Some people can live without love when they lack the ability to recognize and identify their emotions. But love is the most beautiful thing in human life.

In Conclusion

The core difference between needs and wants is that needs are basic requirements and essential for survival whereas wants are human desires and non-essential for survival.

The level of importance between needs and wants helps to make the distinction. We hope the information in the article was helpful in understanding these economical terms.

More Sources and References

  • https://www.thebalance.com/wants-vs-needs-1388544
  • https://study.com/academy/lesson/the-difference-between-wants-vs-needs-in-economics.html
  • https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-need-and-want-4

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