Demographic change

Your customers and their demands are changing. Population growth and decline in different countries, combined with an ageing population around the world, will create a markedly different consumer market by 2050.

In many developed countries, the working population will decline significantly and this gap will need to be filled by immigration, later retirements and productivity gains, which could be accelerated by the growth of the digital ‘machine-to-machine’ economy.

While much has been made of the impact of ageing in the Western world, the most dramatic changes will be seen in emerging markets as birth rates and life expectancy around the world begin to converge.

Change in Europe population, 2013-2050

The shifts in population and economic growth will be accentuated by talent migration as successful economies draw people from weaker counterparts.

Median population age, 2013-2050


By 2025 there are going to be one billion more people on the planet, 300 million of which will be people aged over 65. However, there will be significant regional and country differences.

Around, 50% of the world’s population growth between now and 2050 is expected to come from Africa.

So what does this mean for your business?

An ageing workforce, ageing customers, the shift in economic power and the rise of the Millennial generation (Generation Z) will have profound implications and opportunities for your business.

Your business will need to anticipate demographic developments and bring products and services into line with the changing customer base in the markets you serve.

As people live longer and state support declines, the competitive frontline is likely to shift from lending towards helping people to fund and manage their retirements. Reputation and trust will be crucial in sustaining market share in an increasingly empowered and knowledgeable retirement market.

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Dr. Andrew Nevin

Project Blue Global Leader, PwC Nigeria

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