Economic Growth

The Philippines' growing middle class is on track to outspend Italy’s by 2030

A woman carries her shopping bags in downtown Hamburg, Germany, January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer - RC1F4887D000

"The global middle class is forecast to expand to more than 5 billion by 2030, and most of that growth will take place in Asia." Image: REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

Johnny Wood
Writer, Forum Agenda
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Economic Growth?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how The Digital Economy is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

The Digital Economy

The burgeoning middle class in the Philippines is set to exceed the spending power of Italy’s middle class by 2030, in a sign of the Southeast Asian nation’s growing economic might.

Along with many of its neighbours, the Philippines has a growing tech-savvy population, an exploding digital economy and an increasingly integrated regional trading network, all of which is helping to fuel the emergence of this new wealthy demographic.

Digital, social and mobile uptake in Southeast Asia - 2018

Image: ASEAN Up

Digital penetration has reached well over half of the nation’s population with 67 million internet users and the same number of social media users. This rapidly expanding digital culture is facilitating online businesses both domestically and throughout the region.

The country’s growing affluence is attracting attention from global businesses keen to invest in dynamic emerging economies.

For example, IKEA is bringing its flat-packed world of self-assembly furniture to Manila. Covering 65,000 square metres in the prestigious SM Mall of Asia, the new outlet will be the world’s largest IKEA outlet. The Swedish retailer also aims to appeal to online shoppers with an ecommerce facility.

Business is burgeoning on the homegrown front too. Just last year, the country had its first unicorn in Revolution Precrafted, which was valued at more than $1 billion. The company makes homes that snap together like Lego blocks, which is helping to address Asia’s population boom.

The rise of the middle class in the Philippines is indicative of wider global demographic changes.

Have you read?

Rising out of poverty

For the first time, more people around the world are now living in middle-class or rich households rather than in households deemed to be poor or vulnerable to poverty. The global middle class is forecast to expand to more than 5 billion by 2030, and most of that growth will take place in Asia. .

Image: Brookings

Consumption by the middle class accounts for more than one-third of global demand, according to think-tank Brookings.

At current growth rates, Asia will command more than 50% of global middle class consumption by 2030.

No wonder then that global businesses are starting to pay attention to this rapidly expanding market.

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

How 'open innovation' can promote sustainable economic growth and development

Li Dongsheng

July 16, 2024

About Us



Partners & Members

  • Sign in
  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum