A need is dissatisfaction at a point of time and in a given context. Needs are distinguished from wants. In the case of a need, a deficiency causes a clear adverse outcome: a dysfunction or death. In other words, a need is something required for a safe, stable and healthy life (e.g. air, water, food, land, shelter) while a want is a desire, wish or aspiration. When needs or wants are backed by purchasing power, they have the potential to become economic demands.
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