The article argues that Karl Barth's Church Dogmatics presents human ‘neediness’ as the constitutive element of his theological anthropology. Since this element has had little notice in Barth scholarship, the article focuses on describing the consistent reiteration of this theme in theologically substantive locations throughout the Dogmatics. It begins with Barth's observation that the emergence of humanity on the sixth day discloses humans to be ‘the neediest of all creation’. Barth elaborates the dimensions of human neediness in his discussion of ‘the readiness of humanity for God’, propounding the human need for God as the precondition of knowledge of God that is in actuality undercut by the sin that denies any such neediness. Barth thus describes a potential ‘blessed neediness’ and an actual ‘wretched neediness’ that together define the glory and the tragedy of all that is human, and which inform not only Barth's epistemology and hamartiology, but also his accounts of christology, forgiveness, redemption, worship and Christian witness.