Households in 2030

June 2016

Households are changing rapidly in terms of size, location and demographics. By 2030, the global household outlook will be much different compared to today, as technology, urbanisation and economics reshape the behavioral patterns of inhabitants and create new channels of access to consumers. This strategy briefing pinpoints the primary trends affecting households to 2030 and their impact on consumption, both in terms of opportunities and challenges.

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Single person households will become a major consumption group

Households populated by one person will see faster growth than any other household type through to 2030. This demographic is being driven by younger singletons exchanging relationships for careers and education, as well as the growing widowed and divorced elderly group, especially large in developed countries. Opportunities in targeting this household type are sizable.

There is no escaping urbanisation

Urban hubs are expanding at a faster pace than rural areas in terms of population and households. Factors such as immigration, cities expanding to incorporate more suburban and rural zones, and the development of entirely new towns and cities will create a much more urbanised world in 2030.

Apartments are becoming more popular as dwellings

The onset of urbanisation is creating a boom in apartments. Countries such as China, Brazil and the UK will see surging growth in apartments through to 2030. Apartments provide a solution for housing large numbers of people in a limited urban space, they can be smaller and therefore cheaper, and they offer easier access to utilities and digital services.

Households are becoming digital consumption units

The rapid globalisation of Internet access is digitising households at an unprecedented rate. By 2030, the majority of the world’s homes will have unlocked access to services including online video, gaming, gambling, social media, e-commerce, banking, e-health and e-education, among others.

A more educated world will be a driver of connectivity

The digitalisation of households around the globe will be partly enabled by higher levels of education, which will have a direct impact on IT comprehension and literacy in general. In parts of Africa and Asia, a lack of education is a major deterrent to technology uptake.


Key findings
More apartments than houses, more rentals than mortgages
Key demographic global household indicators in 2030
Couples with children to remain dominant household type

Rise of the singletons

Single person households to become a major group by 2030
Singleton hubs: China is largest, Algeria to grow fastest
What is driving single-person households?
China case study: Cultural landscape drives single male market
Opportunities and challenges of a singleton world in 2030


A more urbanised world, centred on mega cities
Apartmentalisation as a consequence of urbanisation
How will consumption be transformed by apartmental living?
Bigger, brighter mortgage and rental markets in 2030
Will low- and middle-income consumers be priced out of capitals?


Households are becoming digital consumption units
A more educated world in 2030 will be a m ajor driver of connectivity
Connected devices in 2030: Global household penetration
The smart home will be a mainstream reality in 15 years
Digital challenges of the future: Security, censorship and bandwidth


Households in 2030 will be shaped by four specific trends
Opportunities in 2030
Challenges in 2030


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