A new emerging middle class in 12 key countries over the next decade is primed to reshape future global growth, according to a report from communications advisory Ogilvy & Mather. These 12 countries are India, China, Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Egypt, The Philippines, Vietnam, Brazil, Mexico and Myanmar. It is therefore essential, said Ogilvy & Mather, for both policymakers and corporate leaders to understand this rising class of political and economic influencers. 

The US rose to superpower status on the shoulders of a booming middle class in the 20th century. The next century will be defined by 1 billion new middle class consumers across the globe who will not only play an important economic role, they will also become key agents of social change, influencers on their governments, and arbiters of culture. 

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“Ogilvy & Mather identified 12 key markets across the globe accounting for more than half of the world's new middle class – more than 1 billion people. Typically people only look at national economic growth, [whereas] this new approach focuses on the social and political and factors that would drive opportunity for business. Two primary indicators of this are a country’s share of middle class consumption in the world, and second, the projected rate of growth (or velocity) of this consumption, adjusted for purchasing for purchasing power parity. As their opportunities increase, so does this middle’s class’s ability to shape the future of the world. Successful companies will listen to and understanding these key markets,” said Miles Young, worldwide chairman of Ogilvy & Mather.  

Ogilvy & Mather compiled the rankings using indicators of middle class growth in terms of income as opposed to assets. The report also took into account social, cultural, technological and lifestyle trends that companies would need to know in order to take advantage of these markets. Among other things, the report highlighted the importance of companies having a  better understanding the progressive Muslim consumer. According to the report, 60% of Muslims surveyed said they felt as though international brands either did not understand/cater to their needs or only did so a little bit.