Megatrends Shaping Our Future

We explore how demographic and social trends lead to investable themes such as healthcare, urbanisation and emerging market consumer growth.

Population Explosion

Today, there are approximately 7.7 billion people on the planet. The United Nations forecasts that by 2030, that number will have risen to 8.5 billion and by 2050, it will have reached over 9 billion.

Ageing Population

While the global population is still growing, some countries are experiencing a decrease in their total population. By 2050, one in six people in the world will be over age 65 (16%), this is up from one in eleven in 2019 (9%).
Virtually all countries are experiencing population ageing.


one in eleven people (9%)


one in six people (6%)

Middle Class Growth

Half the world is now middle class or wealthier.
In the world today, about one person escapes extreme poverty every second; but five people a second are entering the middle class. The rich are growing but at a far smaller rate (1 person every 2 seconds). The middle class is the largest segment of demand in the global economy and what makes it interesting for businesses is that it is also the most rapidly growing segment. It is projected to reach some 4 billion people by end 2020 and 5.3 billion people by 2030.

Middle Class Dominance in 2030

Note: Figures in parenthesis indicate the increase/decrease in the number of people in each category by 2030. Source: Projections by World Data Lab

Where Do Opportunities Lie?

As a result, a world with a population explosion, an ageing population, and a growing middle class. Here are the impacts:


Public spending on healthcare is set to swell inexorably over the coming decades as seen in the high growth pace of developed markets. With a growing amount of economic output likely to be devoted to treating and supporting the elderly, we see growth potential for healthcare, both medical and services, as well as housing and other forms of support.
Find Out More
The Future of Healthcare


Large-scale shifts in population lead to both opportunities and challenges for society. The requirements of future urban populations will be remarkably different to the cities of today, with citizens demanding connectivity to everything - every device, every entity and every object.

Emerging Markets
Consumer Spending

The middle class is already the largest segment of demand in the global economy and for most businesses, it is the segment to target.
This has been true in individual advanced economies and is now true on a global scale.
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