This story is from the 2015 Access 25. Explore more from this issue

The Developing Global Middle Class

In the next 15 years, millions will escape poverty in Asia alone, radically reshifting geopolitical influence and redrawing global trade patterns.

January 2015


The middle class is growing fast — and growing east. It’s poised to double in size in the next 15 years and radically retilt the world’s economic scales.

Brookings Institution scholar Homi Kharas estimates that Asia’s share of the new middle class will more than double from its current 30 percent to more than 60 percent by 2030, accounting for more than 40 percent of global middle-class consumption. The U.S. and EU middle class, meanwhile, will see their combined share of global consumption shrink from today’s 50 percent to just 22 percent.

One result: Companies accustomed to serving Western middle-class customers will have to evolve in order to grow.

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