The data revolution: 5 big trends that will dominate the next 10 years

We are in the midst of a data gold rush—data is everywhere and it’s cheaper than ever. However, finding actionable insights inside the glut of data remains a combination of art and science. At World Data Lab (WDL), we take this challenge to heart and have identified some of the trends that will dominate the global landscape over the next 10 years.

Look east for the future of consumer spending

In October 2018, it happened—the majority of humanity no longer lives in poverty. Half the planet is now part of the middle class or above and by 2030, the middle class will number 5.7 billion people which will be around two-thirds of the projected world population. Over the next 10 years, middle-class spending will be powered by Asia, specifically from the lower middle classes of India, China, and Indonesia, a market segment of over USD 20 trillion.

Three big economic changes in Europe

The list of the top 10 richest regions in Europe which includes areas such as Inner London (West), Stuttgart, and Oberbayern (Munich) won’t change in the coming years. But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t big changes happening in Europe.

The first big change is that “secondary regions” of Europe’s largest economies are likely to experience weaker economic growth which will increase the disparity between the richest and poorest areas in Europe.

The second big change underway is that small-to-mid-sized areas in Western Europe such as Spain and Ireland, which have recently regained competitiveness and growth, will experience large population increases.

The third and most surprising big change will take place in Eastern Europe. Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia are experiencing negative demographic change but despite this, the remaining population should experience increases in per capita income. Why? The rise of higher skilled and higher paid younger workers and the concurrent loss of less skilled, lower paid, and older workers.

Millennial spending power is on the rise in Asia

Millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, have come of age and are projected to have an aggregate annual income of over USD 4 trillion by 2030. Emerging and developing economies are home to 86% of the world’s millennials amounting to around 1 billion people. Aggregate income of Chinese millennials will surpass their American counterparts by 2035 while the countries with the highest growth of millennial income will be:

  • Thailand (51 percent increase in aggregate annual income; $13,200 average annual income)
  • Philippines (77 percent increase in aggregate annual income; $12,400 average annual income)
  • Indonesia (84 percent increase in aggregate annual income; $11,600 average annual income)
  • Bangladesh (104 percent increase in aggregate annual income; $5,800 average annual income)

It’s counterintuitive, but higher mortality is a sign of progress

The average age of someone born today in South Korea or Japan is 97 years. Overall, more people are dying but that’s just because there are more older people than ever before. While 60 million people are projected to die this year compared to 53 million in 2000, the majority of these people will have died having lived the longest, healthiest, and fullest lives in history.

Poverty challenges remain in Africa

Less than 8% of the world population is living in extreme poverty, the lowest it has ever been in human history. However, the pace of poverty reduction is slowing down making it nearly impossible to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 and fulfill SDG 1. More effort needs to be allocated towards Africa as poverty reduction is stagnating in the region. As of right now, Nigeria is the poverty capital of the world. By 2023, 80% of the world’s poor will be African and almost 100 million will be Nigerian.

Moving ever forward

None of the data trends listed above would’ve been noticed without MarketPro. Insights from data are impossible without structure which is why we built MarketPro. It allows anyone to explore real-time income and demographic forecasts for every country in the world to find emerging market trends with a wide swathe of industry applications. Moving ever forward, we are currently working on population dynamics modeling using high-resolution satellite imagery, poverty disaggregation, a world hunger clock, and a world water scarcity project. We do this because it’s our mission: making everyone count using data to help solve pressing global issues.

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The data revolution: 5 big trends that will dominate the next 10 years

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