Knowledge for policy

Growing consumerism

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.

Poverty, middle class and purchasing power

Developing countries and emerging markets

Resources and pollution

In Europe

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.

European middle class developments

Food waste

​More Developments and Forecasts

Potential Implications

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.

Consumption patterns, purchasing power

Regulatory matters

More Potential Implications


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

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Relevant EC Work

Policy papers and projects relevant to Growing Consumerism

Models relevant to Growing Consumerism used by the EC

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


©European Union, 2018

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