Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to reveal a surprising global drama now unfolding across the world: unpredicted demographic trends portend unexpected social transformations. Design/methodology/approach – Using recent research, the paper considers the startling implications of some current demographic trends. Findings – Marketers and strategists need to radically rethink their mindsets based on new trends. For examples, the world population is aging in an unprecedented way. Research limitations/implications – It is important to note that trends in demography can be particularly misleading and can reverse suddenly. Practical implications – Many widespread assumptions based on previous demographic trends now seem to be misguided. For example, India seems very likely to become the world's most populous country by 2030. Originality/value – Surprising current trends and factors include: by 2020 the global middle class will swell by as many as 1.8 billion, a third of them in China alone; Beijing expects that it may have as many as 40 million frustrated bachelors by 2020; and the population of the 50 least developed countries is expected by the UN to grow from 800 million to 1.7 billion by 2050.
Strategy & Leadership – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 2, 2009
Keywords: Demography; Business planning; Gender; Forecasting; Developing countries
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