Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between a Want and a Need

word_power_bookWant vs Need

When it comes to owning or acquiring certain things, people would often use the terms ‘want’ and ‘need’ interchangeably. In many cases, the manner in which people would use these two terms can lead one to perceive that these two have similar meanings, if not mean absolutely just the same thing. But actually, these two economic terminologies are very different from each other.

A need is generally referred to, in economics, as something that is extremely necessary for a person to survive. If a need is not met, it would lead to the onset of disease, the inability to function effectively and efficiently in society, and even death. Needs are categorized into two groups. There are the objective or physical needs, and the subjective needs. Objective needs are those that are met through tangible things, or things that could be measured. Examples of these include food, water, shelter and even air. On the other hand, subjective needs are those that are often seen to ensure our mental health. Examples of these are self-esteem, a sense of security and approval. A political professor, named Ian Gough, enumerated eleven distinct needs that must be met by each and every human being in order to function well in society, and to survive. The inability of meeting these needs can lead to a person suffering from illness (either physically or mentally), or even death.

On the other hand, a want is something that a person desires, either immediately or in the future. Unlike needs, wants are those that differ from one person to another. For example, one person may want to own a car, while another may want to travel to an exotic country. Each person has his or her own list of wants, each with a varying level of importance. Furthermore, wants can change over a period of time. This is in contrast to needs, which remain constant throughout the lifetime of the person.

The grey area between these two, is when the desire to obtain a particular thing is so extremely great, that a person may misinterpret a want, and see it more as a need. In order to know whether what you desire for is a want or a need, is to basically ask one fundamental question: “Have you been able to survive without this?” If your answer is ‘yes’, then what you desire for is a want, no matter how much you crave for it right now.


1. Wants and needs are economic terminologies.

2. A need is something that is necessary for a person to survive. On the other hand, a want refers to something that a person desires, either right now or in the future.

3. Wants are desires that are optional, meaning that you will still be able to go on living, even if the want is not met. On the other hand, if a particular need is not met, it could lead to a person suffering from illness, or even death.

Latest posts by Manisha Kumar (see all)

Read More ESL Articles

Search DifferenceBetween.net :

Help us improve. Rate this post! 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (19 votes, average: 3.58 out of 5)

Email This Post Email This Post : If you like this article or our site. Please spread the word. Share it with your friends/family.


  1. lovely and interesting

  2. it is more useful to every student.

  3. The difference between at and of in the following context

    provision at sports complex
    provision of sports complex

  4. please, what the relationship between economics and finance?

  5. Your innovation is appreciable

  6. diff.betw. is my best choice

  7. I am here for the first time. One of my friends has recommended me your website. It’s great, I must admit! Thank you for your great idea of making this site. You are a really helping hand for those who study English 🙂

  8. i brows this website first time, it is interesting. and improving knowledge, i like it…..

  9. nice question

  10. useful informations

  11. A very helpful post for everyone who misunderstood the meaning of this two words. LOL. This will be very helpful for my little girl

  12. Assist me the difference between Human resource management and other management
    Also the difference between procurement and logistic management


  14. You are always useful to my teaching.

  15. What are the basic difference b/w prebiotic and probiotic

  16. You are doing extreemly well,so keep it up.

  17. Amazing pieces of information and evaluations on very difficult but relevant subjects.
    Will always love DifferenceBetween.net for this.

  18. ii really like dis web site,,,tanks so much ur gud answer, its so interesting


  1. Difference Between Queen Ben and Double Bed | Difference Between | Queen Ben vs Double Bed
  2. Difference Between VMWare ESX and VMWare ESXi | Difference Between | VMWare ESX vs VMWare ESXi
  3. Difference Between Bi-Weekly and Accelerated Bi-Weekly | Difference Between | Bi-Weekly vs Accelerated Bi-Weekly
  4. Difference Between Lying and Laying | Difference Between | Lying vs Laying
  5. Difference Between Amine and Amide | Difference Between | Amine vs Amide
  6. Difference Between AOsept and Clear Care | Difference Between | AOsept vs Clear Care
  7. Difference Between Bull and Ox | Difference Between | Bull vs Ox
  8. Difference Between FDM and TDM | Difference Between | FDM vs TDM
  9. Difference Between VPN and Remote Desktop | Difference Between | VPN vs Remote Desktop
  10. Difference Between AAC and Apple Lossless | Difference Between | AAC vs Apple Lossless
  11. Difference Between Canon PG 30 and PG 40 | Difference Between | Canon PG 30 vs PG 40
  12. Difference Between LLC and S Corp | Difference Between | LLC vs S Corp
  13. Difference Between Facebook and Tuenti | Difference Between | Facebook vs Tuenti
  14. Difference Between Offset and Digital printing | Difference Between | Offset vs Digital printing
  15. Difference Between Honda Accord and Honda CR-V | Difference Between | Honda Accord vs Honda CR-V
  16. Difference Between Router and Bridge | Difference Between | Router vs Bridge
  17. Difference Between Hotmail and Live | Difference Between | Hotmail vs Live
  18. Difference Between Joint Tenants and Tenants In Common | Difference Between | Joint Tenants vs Tenants In Common
  19. Difference Between Herbicide and Insecticide | Difference Between | Herbicide vs Insecticide
  20. Difference Between Eyelet and Grommet | Difference Between | Eyelet vs Grommet
  21. Difference Between JPanel and JFrame | Difference Between | JPanel vs JFrame
  22. Difference Between HMO and POS | Difference Between | HMO vs POS
  23. Difference Between Islam and Hinduism | Difference Between | Islam vs Hinduism
  24. Difference Between Leader and Boss | Difference Between | Leader vs Boss
  25. Difference Between Facebook and Flickr | Difference Between | Facebook vs Flickr
  26. Difference Between Ultrasound and Sonogram | Difference Between | Ultrasound vs Sonogram
  27. Difference Between Visa and MasterCard | Difference Between | Visa vs MasterCard
  28. Difference Between IPv4 and IPv6 | Difference Between | IPv4 vs IPv6
  29. Difference Between CPA and CFA | Difference Between | CPA vs CFA
  30. Difference Between Term and Whole Life Insurance | Difference Between | Term vs Whole Life Insurance
  31. Difference Between Dependent and Dependant | Difference Between | Dependent vs Dependant
  32. Difference Between BSC and BEng | Difference Between | BSC vs BEng
  33. Difference Between Facebook and Netlog | Difference Between | Facebook vs Netlog
  34. Difference Between Education and Schooling | Difference Between | Education vs Schooling
  35. Difference Between CPA and CMA | Difference Between | CPA vs CMA
  36. Difference Between Accounting and Financial Accounting | Difference Between | Accounting vs Financial Accounting
  37. Difference Between Transcription and Translation | Difference Between | Transcription vs Translation
  38. Difference Between MSN Messenger and Windows Live Messenger | Difference Between | MSN Messenger vs Windows Live Messenger
  39. Difference Between EIN and TIN | Difference Between | EIN vs TIN
  40. Difference Between Qigong and Tai Chi | Difference Between | Qigong vs Tai Chi

Leave a Response

Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

Articles on DifferenceBetween.net are general information, and are not intended to substitute for professional advice. The information is "AS IS", "WITH ALL FAULTS". User assumes all risk of use, damage, or injury. You agree that we have no liability for any damages.

See more about : ,
Protected by Copyscape Plagiarism Finder