Bangladesh on track to be top consumer nation by 2030

Despite Covid-19, the global consumer class, i.e., those who are in the middle-class or are rich, is growing fast.

The global consumer class can be defined as anyone living in a household spending at least $11 per day per person, of which the global middle-class ($11-$110 per day) represents the lion’s share with 3.75 billion people. 

And Bangladesh is one of the top performers in that race as the country is forecast to have very large increases, in the tens of millions, in the consumer class numbers by 2030.

Bangladesh is expected to jump 17 notches from the 28th to the 11th biggest consumer class of 85 million people, according to World Data Lab MarketPro.

Although the country’s global share of consumer class was about 0.8% last year, it is expected to constitute 1.6% by 2030 — more than double. 

Today, 35 million people in Bangladesh spend more than $11 a day, but by 2030, it could be 85 million, data shows.

The world is experiencing a truly secular shift in the size of this global consumer class, where Covid-19 is just a transitory setback of one or two years in this long-term shift, writes Homi Kharas and Wolfgang Fengler of the Brookings Institution. 

Kharas is a senior fellow and a deputy director for the Global Economy and Development program at the Brookings Institution since 2005, while Fengler is the World Bank's lead economist for South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho and Namibia.


Top 30 Consumer Markets of this Decade



Source: World Data Lab’s MarketPro


“Since 2000, the global consumer class has grown by more than 4% each year, reaching a new milestone of 4 billion people for the first time in 2020 or 2021,” they wrote in an article in August. 

At the beginning of this century, the middle class was mostly a Western phenomenon. Companies were selling their goods in OECD countries, especially the US and Europe. But today, the consumer class is global and increasingly Asian, the article reads. 

And today, spending by the Asian middle-class exceeds that in Europe and North America combined.

Everyone is familiar with the consumer class growth in China and India. In Europe and North America, the numbers in the consumer class will stagnate and growth will come about only because households will become richer.

One of the other top five movers in the consumer class is Pakistan, which is expected to move up eight notches to the seventh position with 121 million consumers in 2030. 

Vietnam is expected to move up seven notches to the 19th position with 56 million consumers, while Philippines expected to jump six positions to the 14th place with a 79 million-strong consumer class in 2030.

And finally, Indonesia is expected to go up two notches to the sixth place with 199 million people in its consumer class by 2030. 

“The big message of this analysis is that the consumer class is spreading across the world, and that many emerging markets will have large consumer markets where supply-chain-scale economies, digital platforms, and local preferences will need to be better understood and developed,” the duo concluded.

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