Difference Between Economic Activities vs. Non-Economic Activities

Main Difference

The main difference between economic activities and non-economic activities is that economic activity carried out to satisfy human needs, whereas non-economic activities performed for gaining psychological satisfaction.

Economic Activities vs. Non-Economic Activities

Economic activity relates to a human activity related to the production and consumption of goods and services for economic gain. Non-economic activity is an activity performed gladly, to provide services to others without any regard to monetary gain. The prime objective of economic activities is to earn a livelihood and create wealth. On the other hand, the main objective of non-economic activities is to get some social, cultural, religious or recreational satisfaction. The output of economic activities measured in terms of money, e.g., the salary of a teacher, the fee of a doctor and the profits of a businessman. But the result of non-economic activities cannot be measured in terms of money. Economic activities may come about between supervisor and workers or between producers and consumers. Non-economic activities may be among associates of a family, social worker and those served, etc. The exemption for performing economic operations is to earn income or profit. Non-economic activities are carried out to get mental satisfaction. Economic activities are performed regularly and for the major period of one’s life. It may be old that one may stop working. Non-economic activities performed during leisure or spare time, which is very limited.

Comparison Chart

Economic ActivitiesNon-Economic Activities
Economic operation refers to a human activity related to the production and consumption of goods and services for economic gain.Non-economic activity is an activity performed gladly, to provide services to others without any regard to monetary gain.
These activities are related to wealth or money.These activities are not concerned with money but performed an act of pleasure, love, affection.
EconomicSocial or psychological
These divided into production, consumption, distribution, and exchange.These divided into social, political, religious, charitable, parental and recreational activities.
Money Measurement
Measured in monetary terms.Lacks money measurement.
Results in
Creation of wealth and assets.Satisfaction and happiness.
These activities take place either between an employer and employeeThese activities generally take place between family members or between social workers.
National Income
Adds value to national income.Does not affects national income.

What are the Economic Activities?

Human activities which performed in exchange for money or money’s worth are called economic activities. Economic action is the activity of making, providing, purchasing or selling goods or services. Any activity that involves producing, distributing, or consuming goods or services is an economic activity. Economic actions exist at all levels within a society. Additionally, any activities involving money or the exchange of products or services are economic activities. In other words, economic activities are those efforts which are undertaken by man to earn Income, money, wealth for his life and to secure maximum satisfaction of wants with limited and scarce means. Economic activity is the process by which the stock of resources or stock of capital produces a flow of output of goods and services that people utilize in partial satisfaction of their unlimited wants. This process involves not only the production of goods and services but their distribution among the various members of the community. Gross domestic product or GDP is one way of assessing economic activity, and the degree of current economic activity and forecasts for its future level can significantly impact business activity and profits, as well as inflation and interest rates. Types of Classification of Economic Activities are:

  • Profession
  • Employment
  • Business

Important Elements of Economic Activities

  • These must possess utility;
  • These are concerned with money or wealth;
  • These satisfy human

What are the Non-Economic Activities?

Humankind is ravenous by nature, and whenever they do any activity the majority of times, their motive is to earn money. However, there are certain activities which are an exception, and they are called non-economic activities. Activities which are undertaken to satisfy social, religious cultural and sentimental requirements are called non-economic activities. Non-economic activity is an activity performed gladly, to provide services to others. People undertake in non-economic activities for reasons of love, sympathy, religion, patriotism, etc. These activities again divided into the following groups:

  • Social Activities
  • Political Activities
  • Religious Activities
  • Charitable Activities
  • Parental Activities
  • Recreational Activities

Key Differences

  1. An activity related to the production and consumption of goods and services for economic gain is known as economic activities. An activity performed gladly, to provide services without any regard to monetary gain is known as the non-economic activity.
  2. The extent of economic activities is in monetary terms, whereas non-economic activities lack money extent.
  3. Economic activities result in the creation and accumulation of wealth as they are done to earn a profit. Unlike non-economic actions which result in mental satisfaction and happiness.
  4. Economic deeds are performed for economic motive, i.e., earning a profit. On the other hand, non-economic deeds performed due to social or psychological reasons, i.e., out of love, affection, etc.
  5. Economic activities have a practical approach; in essence, it realistically deals with things. Compared with this, non-economic activities have an idealistic approach wherein more importance given to human values instead of money.
  6. Economic deeds are very important for the economy as they add value to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). As opposed to non-economic deeds, which do not influence the country’s national revenue.


Through the above discussion, it rather explains the only feature which distinguishes these two activities is the purpose. The same activity can be economical and non-economic at the moment; you can perceive this with an example, Suppose a father is taking his child to school by Van. This is a non-economic action, as he drops his son out of love and care, but if there are five other children separately from his son going in the Van who pays money for means of transport to him, then that is an economic activity, as the person is acquiring money for that service. Consequently, when a person is providing divine services out of love or affection, that is non-economic, but when that person charge money for providing such service, it is called economic activity.