Demographic shifts in global and US populations will transform the populace in the next decade and will provide opportunities and challenges for businesses.
Global Population Growth is Slowing
The global population continues to grow, but the growth rate slows each year. Human population on earth is expected to plateau at the end of the century, at a little over 10 billion people. But population trends are not distributed evenly. Many Western nations have moved to a much lower rate of natural increase (births – deaths = natural increase).
Factors Contributing to Lower Birth and Death Rates:
The reduction in the birth and death rate is driven by:
- Improved health care.
- Education, which leads to increased productivity and lower fertility.
- Access to resources, which leads to a lower death rate and lower fertility.
US Population Trends
The US Census predicts that the 2030s will be a transformative decade in terms of population. By 2030, net migration will add more people than natural increase in the US. While the population is not falling (yet), the proportion of working adults to retired or older adults will fall drastically in the next decade. The US will increasingly need to add workers through migration.
American Population is Graying
The US population over 65 will see a dramatic rise, both in numbers and in the proportion of the population, in the next 10-15 years. But most importantly, the population of people over 85 will double by 2035.
America is Becoming More Diverse
The US population of non-Hispanic Whites will shrink in the coming decades. Those who identify as Two or More Races will see the largest increase, followed by Asians (mostly by migration) and Hispanics. As we age, young people will be far more likely to be people of color. Additionally, the foreign-born population will rise considerably.
While these trends may feel years away, population shifts are already visible in the US, Europe, and other countries. Many of these trends will be critically important for business by the 2030s.
Businesses with Growth Opportunities Based on Population Trends
- Businesses serving the aging population, especially the 85+ sector.
- Businesses aimed at a more diverse demographic.
- Businesses offering a device or service that minimizes the number of workers necessary for tasks.
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