By 2030, the middle class is expected to reach 5.6 billion people. This means an additional more than 2 billion people with increased purchasing power than today. Most of this growth will be in Asia. By 2030, China and India together will represent 66% of the global middle-class population and 59% of middle-class consumption.
While the expanding middle-class could be a driver for economic development, changes in consumer behaviour and consumption patterns are expected to increase demand for food, water and energy by approximately 35%, 40% and 50% respectively by 2030.
Developments and Forecasts
The global middle class is expected to grow and reach 5.6 billion by 2030. Some 87% of the additional middle class population will be Asians.
Developing countries have both a growing economy and a growing consuming population, while developed countries are mostly replacement economies.
The European middle class has been eroding in the past decade, due to the economic turmoil as well changing work conditions and further increases of unemployment, especially among young people.
The growing purchasing power of the middle classes in the newly industrialised countries creates opportunities for the consumer goods industry, health services, infrastructure and education.
Indicators to measure change and potential forecasts.
The size of the global middle class, 2000, 2015, and 2030 (billion people)
Source: Brookings, The Unprecedented Expansion of the Middle Class, 2017 update
Relevant EC Work
TIM (Tools for Innovation Monitoring) is a tool developed by the EC Joint Research Centre to monitor and better understand the different facets of innovation and technological development.
Use TIM to explore R&I related to growing consumerism
The EMM News Brief, Europe Media Monitoring, is a fully automatic system that analyses both traditional and social media. It gathers and aggregates about 300,000 news articles per day from news portals world-wide in up to 70 languages.
Use EMM News Brief to explore worldwide news related to growing consumerism
- International Monetary Fund, (2017), A shifting global economic landscape.
- German Institute for Economic Research, (2016), Shrinking share of middle-income group in Germany and the US (full report).
- ILO, (2016),Trends in the world of work: What effects on inequalities and middle-income groups (pdf).