Global Household Trends

September 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a considerable impact on household trends, accelerating some pre-existing movements in digital and remote functions, while entrenching the household as an important locale for entertainment, healthcare, education and work. Suburban households are on the rise, and there will be key milestones reached in possession of household durables and homeownership.

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Key Findings

Asia Pacific breaks 600 million urban households milestone

In 2019, Asia Pacific, the world’s most populous region, reached 611 million urban households, breaking the 600 million barrier for the first time. Of the world‘s 10 largest megacities by population, Asia is home to seven. The region offers massive potential across numerous household segments, from appliances and household goods, to internet retail and leisure.

Single-person households will reach 550 million by 2040

Households with a single person will surge in number through to 2040, growing faster than any other home by persons over 2019-2040. By 2040, the single-person household will represent 20.6% of all households. This will increase demand for single-serving FMCGs, smaller appliances and smaller housing.

80% of households will have water supply by 2032

Continually improving infrastructure globally will see an increase in the number of households with water supply. The highest leaps in water access will be among households in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. This rise will expand the consumer market for water-dependent appliances, such as washing machines and dishwashers.

Household heads aged 60+ at almost 40% of homes in developed world

Household heads aged 60+ are set to dominate the demographics of the developed world, where the proportion of household heads aged 60+ reached 38.4% of all households in 2019. Demand for tailored housing and healthcare solutions is rising as a result.

Household heads with higher education to reach 450 million in 2039

The world’s household heads will be much better educated by 2040. Household heads with higher education will reach a record total of 450 million by 2039. As a result, labour markets will become stronger due to the rise in better-qualified personnel, while rising literacy will improve consumption of online services.


Key findings
Global households snapshot
Key trends in brief
Areas of opportunity

Households Today

Global housing stock reaches 2 billion units
Single-person households reach 400 million milestone
Asia Pacific household size reaches record low
Households with a colour TV reach 90% penetration
Household heads aged 60+ reach 80 million in Western Europe

Global Outlook

Total number of homeowners to reach 2 billion
Couple-with-children households to reach 1 billion
Share of rural households will drop to 30%
Houses reach 60% of dwelling types in developed countries
Households with a refrigerator to reach 80% in emerging countries

Top Five Household Trends

Top household trends impacting economies, businesses and consumers
Working from home becomes the new normal
Hometainment accelerated by the pandemic
Home learning enters the mainstream
Wellness-related technology becomes mainstream among consumers
Urban expansion creating suburban sprawls
Key trends in brief

Rankings of Key Indicators

Number of households
Average household size
Possession of household durables
Average number of children per household
Housing completions
Urban households
Households with water supply
Rural households
Average size of urban household
Households by type: single-person
Households by type: couple with children
Households by type: single-parent family
Housing stock


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