Briefs: Demography

The Future of Cities: Smarter, Greener

flickr_Trey Ratcliff

Propelled by drivers in all five STEEP categories (social, technological, environmental, economic, and political), many of the world’s cities are striving to become greener and smarter.

A rising number of cities are pursuing environmental sustainability and embracing intelligent systems not only for their own sake (to cut costs, to run more efficiently, and to better serve their residents), but also for the sake of the greater world (to reduce carbon emissions and to inspire other cities to do the same).

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Latin America’s Rising Middle Class


New studies reveal that in the 2000s, the middle classes of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) grew by a striking 50 percent. As of 2009, the LAC middle class had expanded to at least 152 million consumers, comprising almost a third (29%) of the region’s population. Moreover, this trend has proven resilient to the global economic downturn. The result is that for the first time in history, LAC has nearly as many middle-class people as poor ones.

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Land of the Setting Sun: Japan’s Time Bomb

Japan_LandofSettingSun_Max max Flickr

Japan, the third largest economy in the world, is experiencing dramatic and potentially disastrous demographic shifts. Japan’s population, already old, is aging rapidly.

But in recent years, Japan has begun facing another demographic challenge: In addition to aging, the country’s total population has now begun shrinking. As a result of this overall decline, the senior share of the population is growing even more quickly. While the senior population continues to grow, the population of children and working-age adults is dropping.

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Turkish Consumers: New Prosperity and Optimism


Turkey is a middle-income emerging market. A strengthening economy is bringing new prosperity to Turkish consumers, and the middle class is expanding. Its demographic profile, typical of upper World 2, features large youth cohorts that reinforce the country’s economic growth.

Turkey’s outlook and the values of its consumers are changing, too. Even as it continues discussions about entry into the EU, it is expressing a more organic identity that incorporates its Islamic roots and growing ties to the Middle East. Its consumers see their future with the EU, but are increasingly confident in Turkey’s independent regional role.

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