There have been several classifications of the needs of a person. While these classifications vary, they commonly place the basic needs at the lowest level. Basic needs are those that must be satisfied, to guarantee survival. According to Abraham Maslow these include:
- Needs of the body, or biological needs: breathing, warmth (clothing), food and drink, sleep
- Security: A place to live, health, protection from danger, law and order
- Social needs: friends/a partner, love, a sex life, communication
Maslow doesn't clearly say which of these are basic needs.
Absolute poverty has been defined as being unable to satisfy basic needs, or spending most of the income on satisfying those needs.