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Demographics and social change

Longer lifespans and modern lifestyles will change medicine and consumer habits.

Changes in global demographics will bring significant opportunities for societies and businesses. There are several forces underpinning this megatrend, including aging populations, automation and differences in generational consumer spending habits.

Aging populations in global economies

Most major economies are undergoing powerful shifts in their demographic profiles—and in most cases the shift is towards an older population.

These trends are likely to change the outlook for household spending, inflation, healthcare, economic growth and government policy—tilting toward an older demographic. Aging and the resulting decline in the labor force will hence require dramatic social, medical and technological changes.

Projected world population of 60+ age group

Source: United Nations World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision

There are already more over-65s in Asia than there are people in the United States. In fact, by 2042—in just a quarter of a century—there will be more over-65s in Asia than the populations of the Eurozone and North America combined.1

The radically different priorities of younger generations

Younger consumers are growing up with distinctly different spending priorities versus their parents and grandparents. This will be reflected in what they eat (healthier, fresher food) and how they spend time (streaming content and gaming) to how they save money (sharing economy, low cost travel) and how they invest (focused on sustainability).