Want vs Need: Difference and Comparison

Every person is bound to social relationships; they have some relationship with themselves which is not mentioned anywhere but persists. Being a human is not confined to eating or sleeping, but it is more than that.

Human life involves various high and low points and is considered part of life. Every person has aspirations, some necessitate, which need to be fulfilled by them; these things make a difference between animals and humans.

Every person has some necessities to live minimally, like food, water, oxygen, etc., and there are few things which man wants as per their aspirations, like a particular type of food, car, clothes, etc.

Humans’ desires vary from person to person as per their capabilities to accomplish them.

One person’s desire might not be of the other person; for example, if someone wants to live in a bungalow, the other might be thinking of living in flats.

There are some basic requirements of a person without which living would not be possible for much time.

During the early times, early humans, with the developments of their minds, acknowledged some basic needs like clothes, food, water, etc.; these things are still necessary for human life and will remain so.

Key Takeaways

  1. Wants are desires or preferences for something not necessary for survival or basic well-being but can enhance one’s quality of life.
  2. Needs such as food, water, shelter, and clothing are essential for survival, health, and well-being.
  3. The distinction between wants and needs is crucial in personal finance, decision-making, and resource allocation, as prioritizing needs ensures the fulfillment of basic human requirements. In contrast, wants can be pursued once those needs are met.

Want vs Need

The term need is used for all the things which are basic necessities and are vital for living and functioning. Wants include luxuries and everything that can refine the quality of an individual’s life. Want is something an individual wishes to have it and its desire lessens with time. The desire of need grows stronger gradually.

Want vs Need


Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonA WantA Need
CompulsionNot too compulsory for lifeToo compulsory for life
Created byHumans themselvesNatural
Scope of procrastinationModerate scopeLeast scope
VariationsVaries from person to personAlmost similar in every person
Demands/ includesLuxuries (mostly)Basic requirements (mostly)


What is a Want?

A want is a desire to have something; humans create it independently. Wants can be different depending upon the person and his/her desires. It is the aspiration of a person.

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A want can be anything, worldly, situation, or pleasure. Humans create wants per their choice, giving them happiness and pleasure or improving their life.

A want is something which can be accomplished by doing hard work, dedication and consistent efforts.

Wants can be different and vary from one person to another; for example, a rich person wants to buy a private jet, on the other and a middle-class person might want to travel in a plane to be economy class.

A want can be procrastinated as they are not basic; they have alternatives. Thus a person can settle for less as well. People might not fulfil their wants due to circumstances or fewer capabilities, but they try to accomplish them.

Wanting something certainly gives direction to the life of a person. When people want something, they will probably do hard work, turning them into an asset to their family or society.

Thus, it is better to desire something good that will enhance their life and other people’s.


What is a Need?

A need is synonymous with a requirement or necessity for life. A need is the basics of life that every human deserves or must have to live a minimal life.

The need is something every person has, be it a newborn, a toddler, an adult, a teenager, an old person, etc., every person has their needs. Some basic needs are food, water, a house to live in, clothes to cover the body, etc.

Unlike wants, needs are important and are not created by humans themselves but it is the requirement of the body.

Like food and water are necessary to live, clothes and a house are important to protect them from outside harshness. And such basic needs are similar for every person.

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When a person modifies their need, it is characterized as want. For example, a person needs food to live, but it becomes a want when they demand a specific cuisine or house is needed but aspire to live in a bungalow is a want.

Needs cannot be procrastinated as they are important for life; someone cannot procrastinate wearing clothes,  breathing, having shelter, etc. Not fulfilling needs might push a person to a miserable life like a beggar.

Needs are sometimes fundamental rights of human beings to live on earth, and sometimes they are not that necessary; for example, buying a car, a person needs a car, but in actuality, it is a want. This confusion is created between the two.


Main Differences Between a Want and a Need

  1. Humans create wants for themselves, whereas needs are a necessity of human life and are natural.
  2. Want can be procrastination, but a need cannot be procrastinating.
  3. Want varies from person to person. On the contrary needs of people are primarily similar or the same.
  4. Wants are modified needs, and needs are fundamental requirements of people.
  5. Wants can be fulfilled or settled for less, but needs must be fulfilled and cannot style for less.
Difference Between Want and Need

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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