Households globally are transforming in terms of structure, living environment and consumer values. The family structure is evolving, giving rise to child-free living trends, including the demand for less space but more comfort. As consumers seek greater convenience, interest in electronics and appliances that complement their lifestyles grows. Additionally, with changing consumer priorities and increasing access to amenities, homes become not only sanctuaries of comfort, but also a 24/7 place of work and play. This snapshot seeks to highlight opportunities that surface from global households trends in 2023.
Child-free households to become prevalent social structure in 2040
The rise in single-person households and couples without children is driven by delayed marriage and childbirth, ageing populations, and rising divorce rates.
The number of households without children has doubled over the past 20 years and is set to further increase by 140% by 2040
Source: Euromonitor International
Recently, personal finances have started to play a bigger role too. Consumers are worried about their financial situation and employment in the context of the cost-of-living crisis. With inflation running at 7% and the average income remaining rather sluggish, many consumers are postponing starting a family and seeking other life aspirations, such as travelling or adopting a pet or plants instead. Globally, content on and by DINKs (double income no kids households) is becoming popular on social media platforms like TikTok, such that DINK videos on the app have over 33 million views depicting the lifestyles of child-free married couples.
Trying to tackle the transforming demand, companies in travel, leisure, pet care and home and garden industries are turning their business models towards addressing the new individualistic and aspirational lifestyles. For instance, gardening companies such as Lazy Gardener and Miracle-Gro are offering plant food sticks and spikes, and plant propagation mats for plant parenthood-interested consumers.
Household facilities drive consumer durables demand in developing world
Access to household facilities, such as electricity, water supply and sanitation, have been increasing globally, fuelling the demand for consumer electronics and appliances. In addition, more than two thirds (67%) of global respondents in Euromonitor International’s Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey agree that they find they are looking for ways to simply their lives. Thus, the need for convenience by consumers and economic development, urbanisation, government initiatives, and technological changes are the major drivers for impressive increases in possession rates, particularly in developing and emerging economies.
In Vietnam the share of households with access to water supply rose by 64 percentage points, and households with electricity saw a 14-percentage point increase from 2000 to 2023
In Vietnam, for instance, the share of households with access to water supply rose by 64 percentage points, and households with electricity saw a 14-percentage point increase from 2000 to 2023. Simultaneously, the possession rate of washing machines soared from a mere 3% to 63% during the same period. Brands are benefiting from this development, as over a 10-year period (2013-2022), sales of Panasonic Corp’s consumer appliances in Vietnam doubled to total three million units. Thus, with increasing accessibility to crucial household facilities, possession rates of consumer appliances and electronics should soar further, propelling sales of branded products.
Evolving digital ecosystem contributes to growing digital households
The expanding adoption of digital devices and broadening internet access are reinforcing one another and transforming households. For instance, in the Middle East and Africa, internet access has risen by 41 percentage points since 2000 and the possession rate of mobile phones has increased by 83 percentage points, leading to 71% of respondents in the region admitting to using their mobile phones to browse the internet almost every day, as revealed by Euromonitor International's Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey 2023.
The integration of technology into households is becoming evident globally, driven by consumers' desire to enhance their lifestyles, stay connected, and increase productivity. This has fuelled the rising demand for smart and connected appliances, as consumers seek ways to ease daily tasks and reduce workload at home. As a result, the concept of digital households is gaining popularity, and creating new opportunities for businesses to capitalise on these trends. For companies, this shift towards digital households represents an opportunity to expand their operations, streamline processes, or explore synergies with other industries, thereby opening additional avenues of income.
Read our report Global Household Trends 2023 for in-depth analysis of households today, global outlook and rankings of key indicators.