UN: World population to reach 8bn in 2022 and 10bn by 2050

The UN’s World Population Prospects 2022 report predicts that on 15th November 2022 the global population will reach 8bn. The report also shows that India is on course to surpass China as the world’s most populous country in 2023. The latest UN projections suggest that the global population could grow to around 8.5bn in 2030 and 9.7bn in 2050, before peaking at around 10.4bn people during the 2080s.

More than half of the projected increase up to 2050 will be concentrated in eight countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and the United Republic of Tanzania. While 2022 is a milestone year, the global population is growing at its slowest rate since 1950, having fallen to less than 1% in 2020. As well as fertility, which has dropped markedly in recent decades for many countries, the pandemic has had an effect on population change: global life expectancy at birth fell to 71 years in 2021 (vs 72.9 in 2019).

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: The UN tells us that the global population will reach 8bn this year. As always, the demographic mix is important and by 2050 the number of over 65’s globally will be more than twice the number of children under the age of five and around the same as those aged under 12. Further reductions in mortality will increase average global longevity to around 77.2 years in 2050. But we don’t have to wait until 2050 to feel the effects of the ageing population, as all countries in the developed world are already experiencing high demand on healthcare services and medical products from a large cohort that expects a high quality of life for an extended period of time. This has been a discussion point throughout my 5 decades in this industry, and Big Pharma seems to defy gravity by always introducing better products at higher prices and sustaining or even growing margins.

But this cannot last, and the recent drive by the FDA to encourage more Rx-to-OTC switches is one of the most important emerging trends in our industry. As my colleague MaryAlice Lawless has written recently, the old switch model just won’t work any more, and the FDA has put the ball firmly in our court to come up with new regulatory and marketing models. That’s why the US switch application for the daily oral contraceptive is so important. Perrigo’s HRA subsidiary is in the forefront of this new category, having launched the first OTC version globally in the UK in 2021.

We are pleased to announce that the all-new agenda for our Asia-Pacific e-Conference has been released! Nicholas will be joined on 23 November by industry experts to explore expanding possibilities for CHC across the region. This event will also include the presentation of our Regional CHC Creative Marketing Award. For more information, or to register, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com.

Macro Trends: Economic & Demographic Outlook

In this week’s blog, we look at two recent reports on macro trends that will have a future impact on the consumer healthcare market. The first looks at short-term economic trends and the second longer-term demographic trends.

Last week the International Monetary Fund has revised down its forecast for global economic growth in 2021 to slightly below its July 2021 forecast of 6%. At a virtual G20 event, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said: “The most immediate obstacle is the ‘great vaccination divide’ – too many countries with too little access to vaccines, leaving too many people unprotected. At the same time, countries remain deeply divided in their ability to respond – in being able to support the recovery, and in their ability to invest for the future.”

“We face a global recovery that remains ‘hobbled’ by the pandemic and its impact. We are unable to walk forward properly — it is like walking with stones in our shoes.” Three of the most painful stones are divergence in economic growth, inflation and global public debt. As the chart below indicates, the sectors currently facing the largest inflationary pressures include transportation and food, whereas prices in the health sector remain stable.

As for demographic trends, according to a report in The Times newspaper last week there will be more Nigerians than Europeans in 60 years’ time. Some two-thirds of Africans are aged under-25 years (in Senegal the average age is 19 years) and many capitals and cities on the continent are unable to cope with this “youthquake”, with no time or money to build the basic infrastructure, often coupled with a high cost of living. While this youthful energy could be a good thing, the lack of opportunities – coupled with climate migration – is driving many of the younger generation to leave Africa, with Europe becoming a spill over zone.

Nicholas Hall Writes: “Many of these new consumers will rapidly become empowered, and although it is not a factor that will influence next year’s P&L, sensible companies will start to plan for much larger immigrant communities, which will have very determined views on the CHC products they buy (and anyone who doubts this has only to take a look at the very specialised products sold to the Hispanic community in North America by companies like Genomma). Indeed, some of these populations will be made up of ‘illegals’, who will not sign up to see community physicians and for whom CHC will be primary care and possibly much more. And for that, I fear, we are not at all prepared as countries or an industry.

You can save up to GB£2,500 when you pre-order our forthcoming Hot Topic report, Sexual Health & Fertility! This title will delve into key topics, such as home diagnostics, intimate care, ED and many others, as well as tracking NPD and Rx-to-OTC switch activity, plus much more. To pre-order your copy, or for further details, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.