Geographies in Depth

Asia's consumer class is growing. This chart shows how

People walk in an upscale shopping district in the Sanlitun area in Beijing, China, October 19, 2021. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

China is expected to remain the biggest consumer market in 2030. Image: REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Katharina Buchholz
Data Journalist, Statista
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Retail, Consumer Goods and Lifestyle

  • Asian countries are expected to exhibit the biggest growth of the consumer class among the world's 30 biggest consumer markets.
  • The consumer class is defined as a group of people who spend more than $11 per day.
  • Currently, 55% of the global consumer class live in Asia.
  • Nearly 76 million Indonesians alone will join the consumer class by 2030.
  • This will make Indonesia the fourth biggest consumer market in the world, behind China, India and the U.S.
  • Bangladesh, Pakistan and the Philippines also expect big growth.

Between the years 2020 and 2030, almost 76 million Indonesians will join the so-called consumer class, a group of people who spend more than $11 (in 2011 PPP dollars) per day. This will cause the country to become the fourth biggest consumer market in the world behind the giants of the field – China, India and the United States.

Even today, 55 percent – or 2.2 billion people - of the global consumer class live in Asia, especially in the world’s two biggest consumer markets, India and China. Despite the fact that Indian consumer class growth is outpacing China’s, the latter country is expected to remain the biggest consumer market in 2030. This is according to data by research company World Data Lab, published by Brookings Institution.

a chart showing consumer growth
Despite the fact that Indian consumer class growth is outpacing China’s, the latter country is expected to remain the biggest consumer market in 2030. Image: Statista
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The 52 million Bangladeshis joining the consumer class by the same year will make their home country rise quickly in the list of the biggest consumer markets, catapulting it from rank 28 into rank 11. Pakistan and the Philippines will add almost 60 million and almost 38 million people to the consumer class, respectively, by 2030, which will cause both countries to rise seven spots in the ranking of the world’s biggest consumer markets.

Among the 30 biggest consumer markets, Asian countries are expected to exhibit the biggest absolute growth of the consumer class over the coming years. While the expansion of the United States’ consumer class by 24 million people still lands it in rank 8 of the biggest growers, other established markets like France, the UK, Spain or Canada are barely growing anymore, causing them to rank lower on the list of the world’s biggest consumer markets as they are being overtaken by developing economies’ markets. This also applied to developed economies in Asia, like South Korea.

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What is a circular economy?

The development can be seen in relation to few people remaining outside the consumer class in developed countries but is also connected to populations in these countries growing more slowly or even stagnating and shrinking. This phenomenon can be observed in Japan, Germany and Italy where the size of the consumer class is actually expected to shrink until 2030.

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