Small logo Subscribe to leading news on impact investing. Learn More
The Brief Originals Dealflow Signals The Impact Alpha Impact Voices Podcasts Agents of Impact Open
What's Next Capital on the Frontier Measure Better Investing in Racial Equity Beyond Trade-offs Impact en las Americas New Revivalists
Local and Inclusive Climate Finance Catalytic Capital Frontier Finance Best Practices Geographies
Slack Agent of Impact Calls Events Contribute
The Archive ImpactSpace The Accelerator Selection Tool Network Map
About Us FAQ Calendar Pricing and Payment Policy Privacy Policy Terms of Service Agreement Contact Us
Locavesting Entrepreneurship Gender Smart Return on Inclusion Good Jobs Creative economy Opportunity Zones Investing in place Housing New Schooled Well Being People on the Move Faith and investing Inclusive Fintech
Clean Energy Farmer Finance Soil Wealth Conservation Finance Financing Fish
Innovative Finance
Personal Finance Impact Management
Africa Asia Europe Latin America Middle East Oceania/Australia China Canada India United Kingdom United States
Subscribe
Features
Series
Themes
Community
Data
Subscribe Log In
More

The global middle class is emerging even faster than we thought



The “next billion” may be more like the next two billion, or more. The faster-than-expected growth of the middle class, particularly in Asia, means the world could add 2.2 billion middle-class consumers by 2030, nearly one billion more than previous forecasts.

A new analysis from Homi Kharas at the Brookings Institution suggests the world could be majority “middle class” (and above) within a few years. The middle class is already spending $35 trillion annually; spending could nearly double by 2030. That’s one-third of projected global GDP growth.

To be sure, much of that global middle class will still be quite poor by the standards of today’s affluent countries (The Brief, Feb. 16).

Still, a bigger global middle class means more consumption and, among other things, more greenhouse gas emissions. Mitigating those impacts: increased urbanization (city dwellers produce less carbon per capita than rural residents), better education, particularly for girls (thus lowering fertility rates), and the shift toward more sustainable energy and resource-use.

Rising expectations will require “a new package of inclusive growth” says Kharas. Provisioning middle-class public goods such as health care, universal education, financial security and affordable housing will test both developed and developing countries.

Without political leadership, he warns, the win-win of global growth could be distorted into a narrative “of colliding interests between the middle class in emerging economies and those in advanced economies.”

You might also like...