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Although the world population is ageing, Euromonitor International estimates that half the people on the planet are under the age of 30 in 2014. Emerging and developing countries stand out as home to a massive 89.8% of the global population under the age of 30, up from 85.3% in 1980 and we expect this ratio to remain stable until 2030. The 0-29 age bracket is an important one for marketers in terms of the consumer spending potential for families with children, young adults and those entering working-age who will experience discretionary spending for the first time. Children and young consumers have an appetite for the latest technologies and can quickly adapt to modern trends. They are more digitally tuned in and switched on than any generation previously and keener to interact with brands directly. However, per capita discrepancies in the spending potential of younger consumers in emerging vs developed markets will continue to dictate growth opportunities and strategies. This age group is also vital in order to assess the labour market potential across countries and whether the working pool is growing or shrinking, which will have an impact on skills availability and consumer spending prospects.

Did You Know?

  • The global population is ageing. The share of people under the age of 30 worldwide has shrunk from 62.1% in 1980 to an estimated 49.8% in 2014 and we predict that this trend will continue to reach 44.7% in 2030. However, at half the global population in 2014, this set compromises a significant consumer segment that can’t be ignored;
  • There is a notable discrepancy between numbers in emerging vs. developed economies. Emerging markets account for a forecast 89.8% of the total population aged under 30 in 2014. This age group will account for just one third of the population in developed economies in 2030 compared to nearly half (46.5%) in emerging and developing countries;
  • Even emerging markets are ageing and their share of the population aged under 30 is declining. In 1980, the age group accounted for 65.4% of the region’s total population and this fell to 52.7% in 2013 and will carry on the downward trend to reach and estimated 46.5% in 2030;
  • These developments will shape working-age population and labour market trends. The Middle East and Africa region has the largest share of under-30s in its population globally and will experience the largest growth of all regions in the world in its working-age population (aged 15-64) with 46.4% period growth over 2014-2030. Eastern Europe has amongst the lowest under-30s ratio to total population and its working-age population will actually decline by a forecast 10.6% in the same period. Eastern Europe will therefore face a squeeze of its labour resources, impacting government employment policy and the business environment, while emerging countries will continue to offer a young and growing workforce;
  • Latin America and Asia Pacific are also prominent for having large populations under the age of 30. We forecast that this group will account for 43.7% and 40.7% of their respective total populations in 2030. However, developed economies will retain greater potential in terms of higher average gross incomes of their younger consumers. In Australasia, for example, Euromonitor forecasts that the average gross income of a 20-24 year old will be US$52,832 in 2030 in constant 2013 prices compared to US$8,701 in Asia Pacific. Developed economies will continue to be suitable markets for higher end brands targeting the young consumer while businesses can focus on the mass youth market with more affordable prices and products within Asia.

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