Two of the world's most powerful demographic drivers: China and India
Articles & stories

Two of the world's most powerful demographic drivers: China and India

"While China's consumers should continue to enjoy superior spending power, a powerful dynamic in India will come from a more youthful consumer."1

Totaling 2.7 billion people as their aggregate population, China (1.4 billion) and India (1.3 billion) have a vast and growing market of consumers. They collectively represented about 14% of the world's total final consumption in 2016.

Due to their large populations, a small change in one of China's or India's demographic factors can have a major impact on its country's economic development and foreign investors' opportunities. Thus, the age of their individuals, family composition tendencies, education levels, and urbanization intensities play significant roles in deciding the future of these economies, particularly shaping their wealth and consumption growth.

The Emerging Consumer Survey 2019 by our Credit Suisse Research Institute (CSRI) analyses the major demographic elements driving these two sizable nations.

Young India. Aging Chinese.

While China has a maturing population distribution, India's younger working-age population is increasing. Consequently, their different age demographic development is predicted to encourage differing spending patterns.

  • Increasing saving tendencies and financial investments in China have been observed since the year 2000 – a sign of accumulated wealth growth and aging wealth holders.
  • Even small future income improvements in India should have a strong impact on the country's final consumption before a significant growth in savings is observed.
  • Worldwide the young consumer is increasingly influencing market trends – a factor which is amplified in India through its younger population and beneficial age distribution.

Higher income and wealth creation lead to higher consumption.

China is currently benefiting from both demographic and economic growth. Its population has undergone a significant upgrade into higher wealth brackets during the last 18 years, consequently boosting its consumption power. China:

  • Is the second-biggest total wealth holder and final consumption market in the world (after the USA)
  • Multiplied its GDP per capita by twenty-two times in the last 35 years

While India has seen some improvements in wealth creation, these are significantly smaller. However, it is expected that India's young population will be a major player in increasing its country's in income and total wealth development. India:

  • Is twelfth in terms of total wealth worldwide and consumption power
  • Multiplied its GDP per capita by five times in the last 35 years

Download the Emerging Consumer Survey 2019 to read more about these two giant demographic drivers.

Emerging Consumer Survey 2019 This link target opens in a new window