If accurate, the predictions for 2020 in the chart above are fascinating in several respects.

  • China, India, and Indonesia are going to have roughly as many middle class households as exist worldwide today.  There’s going to be a lot more demand for cars, gas, everything — no wonder that China is buying up raw material supplies in other countries!  Even so, only about one in five Chinese and one in ten Indians will have achieved an extremely modest middle class income by 2020: that seems slow progress.
  • Brazil (surprise) and Egypt (no surprise) are expected to significantly under-perform in creating middle class households.
  • Euromonitor seems to doubt that Ukraine and Vietnam will exist in ten years.
  • Look at Russia: a predicted decrease of over 90% in the number of middle class households.  How do you say “political instability” in Russian?  Imagine the temptation that will give Russia’s non-democratic leadership to stir up foreign conflicts to distract their public from the economic decline.  If I were a Georgian, I might consider moving to Brazil.