The difference between need and demand.

In economic science, in the study of various patterns of the market, phenomena such as needs and demand can be analyzed. What are they?

What is meant by need?

From the point of view of economic research , the need is an individualized feeling of the need for a person to acquire a thing or use a service. The need can be:

  1. one-time (accidentally arising) or systemic;
  2. subjective and objective;
  3. formed due to internal beliefs or imposed on a person from the outside.

In some cases, demand can grow into demand. Let's study its specifics in more detail.

What is meant by demand?

From the point of view of economic research , demand is individualized or group behavior, which is expressed in a steady desire, respectively, of individual people or their groups with one or another periodicity to buy any goods or use some services.

The classification of demands can be carried out according to a scheme similar to the one we have discussed above - according to which the needs are divided into different categories. Thus, demand can:

  1. be expressed in the systemic or non-systemic behavior of consumers;
  2. be predetermined by the subjective or objective desire of people to buy goods and use services;
  3. are predetermined by the internal convictions of consumers or externally imposed patterns of purchasing behavior.


The main difference between demand and demand is that the first economic phenomenon is passive, unstable, and the second is active and mature. A person who has a need does not necessarily go to satisfy it immediately in the store. In turn, he can form a stable demand for certain goods and services - in this case, he will strive to satisfy it as soon as possible.

But it is worth noting that demand is in most cases a prerequisite for the emergence of demand. In its absence, a person will not have a demand for goods and services.

The need is almost always individualized. The purchasing preferences of one person can differ significantly from those that characterize the personalities of other people, even if they have a lot in common and can rightfully be attributed to the same social group. The need can be rather roughly reflected in specific indicators - for example, in units of goods or services, since for various reasons it can change frequently.

In turn, the demand can be, as we noted above, both individualized and group. It can be reflected in specific numbers - corresponding, for example, to a certain number of things or services per month in relation to a particular group of buyers.

Having determined what is the difference between demand and demand, we reflect the conclusions in a small table.


Demand Demand
What do they have in common?
Need is a condition for the appearance of demand
What is the difference between them?
Often unstable, non-systemicAs a rule, stable, systemic
Almost always individualizedCan be both individual and group
Can hardly be reflected in quantitative indicatorsAs a rule, easily reflected in quantitative indicators