7 Difference between Needs and Wants (With Table)

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. 

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.

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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Difference between Needs and Wants

Difference between Needs and Wants With Table

Basic Terms Needs Wants
Meaning Refers to those basic requirements that foster survival Refers to those things that people desire to have in order to lead an improved life
Nature Limited Unlimited
Importance A must-have for survival Desires or wishes of people
Represent Necessity Desires
Survival Essential Unessential
Change Tend to remain the same throughout Prone to changes with time
Non-fulfillment Result in diseases or death Result in disappointment

What Are Needs?

Needs are essential things that we require to live and be well. They are the basic stuff that humans, animals, and even plants must have to survive and thrive.

For people, needs include food, water, shelter, and clothing to stay healthy and safe. Without these, our bodies wouldn’t work properly, and we couldn’t stay alive. Besides these physical needs, humans also need emotional and social things like love, friendship, and a sense of belonging to feel happy and mentally well.

Needs are different from wants. Wants are things that we desire but aren’t necessary for survival. Understanding our needs helps us prioritize what’s truly important in our lives. By fulfilling our needs, we can lead healthy and fulfilling lives, making sure we have the essentials for both our bodies and minds.

What Are Wants?

Wants are things that we wish for or desire, but they are not necessary for our basic survival. They are the extras that can make life more enjoyable, interesting, or comfortable.

While needs are essential for our health and well-being, wants are more like added bonuses. For instance, we need food to eat, but wanting a particular type of delicious dessert is a want. We need a place to live, but wanting a big house with a swimming pool is a want.

Wants can be different for everyone because they’re based on personal preferences and interests. These can include things like gadgets, fancy clothes, entertainment, and luxury items. It’s important to distinguish between needs and wants to make wise choices about how we spend our resources and money. While satisfying our wants can bring happiness, it’s essential to ensure that our needs are met first.

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.

Similarities Between Needs and Wants

  • Both needs and wants involve a sense of desire or want. T
  • Both needs and wants play a role in influencing our decisions and actions.
  • Both needs and wants can be subjective and vary from person to person.
  • Both needs and wants are part of human nature.
  • Fulfilling both needs and wants can contribute to our overall well-being.
  • Both needs and wants can change over time based on circumstances, experiences, and personal development.
  • Managing both needs and wants requires a balance.

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.

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