Identifying the customer of the future could
hinge on understanding the dramatic changes
occurring in demographic trends, from aging
populations to shifting growth patterns.
Where in the
W RLD Will Your
By Fariborz Ghadar, Ph.D.
Across the planet, demographic trends are transforming societies, modifying economic patterns, generating new economic and social dependencies, and altering geopolitical balances. The trends also will have significant
implications on where products are produced and
How well business and supply management
leaders anticipate and adapt to these challenges will
mean the difference between success and failure,
opportunity and disappointment. Determining who
the consumers of tomorrow will be, where they will
be located and what they will be buying are all critical
factors in preparing for the future.
Examining this “who, what and where,” we see a
few significant characteristics of population change
that will affect business practices in the coming
decades. The first — and an inescapable one — is that
the world population is rising quickly. As of August,
it was around 7. 3 billion, and that number is expected
to increase to more than 8 billion by 2025 and to about
9. 8 billion by 2050. Although this rise may seem incredible, it is important to note that the overall rate of global
population growth is not increasing at all. Rather, it is
decreasing — rapidly.
In the 1960s, when many analysts were concerned
about an imminent “population explosion,” the rate
of growth across the world had already peaked. Many