The roots of the demographic changes we have and will see in the 21st century lie in the last century. Urbanization and the shift to industrial economies have in modern times caused declines in fertility rates. When falling fertility rates are combined with increases in life expectancy the result is population aging. The degree and extent of aging we can see across the globe today is unprecedented. Demographers, sociologists, and marketers will need to develop new models and new ways of thinking to understand the shifts we see today and will continue to see for decades to come. Aging is here to stay but in the 60 the US saw a huge increase in immigration that is continuing todayBut aging is only the most visible effect. There are other more hidden impacts that will substantially change the global marketplace for consumer products. Manufacturers will be forced to reevaluate market segments and portfolio strategy.
We see six trends that will change the face of the American consumer. Aging and meeting the needs of older consumers is only one. I’ll talk a bit about the others.
Less than 2% of those folks will come from the more developed world.If you are looking for population growth to fuel your growth you will need to turn your back on the more developed world.
Uneven population growth & economic development will spur unprecedented numbers of international migrants Countries in the More Developed Regions have already started to compete for immigrants, especially skilled ones. The More Developed World will need millions of immigrants to fill the labor force gaps left by their aging populations, and of course to pay taxes to support all those retired workers.<click>The hidden effect is how immigration impacts the ethnic makeup of families with children and younger consumers. It is primarily younger persons who become migrants, either bringing their families along with them or starting families in their new homes. The impact of large numbers of young immigrants entering a population is faster growth in ethnic populations among families with children. They become more ethnic more quickly than middle aged and older parts of the population.<click>In the U.S. Hispanics make up a much higher share of HHs with children than total HHs. By 2025 the majority of U.S. HHs with children will be multi-cultural – less than half will be non Hispanic native born white. This same effect will appear throughout the more developed world forcing marketers to think about different tastes and perhaps different languages when selling to this group.