Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The emergence of the middle class at global level is redesigning local societies' values

The current global crisis started in 2008 brought policies of austerity, mainly to the detriment of the middle class, in most of the western economies. The BRIC countries, in particular, as well as other Latin American and Asian states with the economic growth are experiencing  the birth or reinforcement of  the middle class in their societies.

Various indicators are used by a number of organizations to measure this trend:
  • The World Bank includes in the middle class people earning between  $2-$13 per day
  • The Asian and the African Development Banks use a range between $2-$20 to identify middle class members.
However, the results of these studies are quite similar and show that the middle class is constantly growing, even if at different rates, among all countries in the world.
This phenomenon has both political and economic interpretations. From an economic point of view, various studies predict, in the global market, the appearance of a new class of potential consumers which will absorb the overproduction of companies in Europe and North America and help develop locally the internal markets.
The second consideration focuses in particular on the political consequences of this growth. Polling evidence demonstrates that middle-class values are very distinctive and members of this class pay a lot of attention to their political and civil rights rather than the poor classes more concerned with the freedom from poverty.  This tendency have been used to explain the recent uprisings in Arabic countries.

Poverty line is fixed by the UN at $1 per day. Updated statistical data are available on the Millennium Development Goals Indicators site

For more readings:
The middle of the pyramid: dynamics of the middle class in Africa - African Development Bank (AfDB)
The Global Middle Class - Report from the Pew Research Center

No comments:

Post a Comment