Socio-demographic change

For modern lifestyles

The world is changing rapidly. New technologies such as artificial intelligence are coming ever faster. But change is also happening on a societal level: On a global average, people are getting older and wealthier. They want to live healthy, sustainable and connected lives. Plastics help with this.

The number of desperately poor people on a global scale, is increasing, especially as a result of the corona pandemic. According to the World Bank, more than nine percent of humanity has to survive on less than 2.15 US dollars a day.

However, despite all regional differences, the world population has been becoming increasingly wealthy on a global average for a long time. More and more people are moving into the middle class. At the same time, life expectancy is increasing. The group of “silver agers” who often have purchasing power is growing rapidly.

Greater wealth, more sophisticated lifestyle

This also increases the need for products, technologies and solutions that are tailored to the needs of this population group. Which in turn makes innovative, sustainable materials necessary. Covestro responds to this with high-quality plastics to enable as many people as possible to enjoy a modern lifestyle – sustainable and healthy, comfortable and connected.

More and more people are moving to the middle class, especially in Asia. (© UTS -

Middle class becomes largest group

Higher education, more women in the workforce, advances in medicine – these are some of the factors why humanity as a whole is becoming wealthier. In 2030, 4.8 billion people around the world will be middle class – most of the world population and 700 million more than in 2020.

The vast majority of the newcomers are expected to live in Asia. And there, China and India are likely to experience the biggest growth.

This will have noticeable consequences for the economy. The middle class accounts for around two thirds of private consumption. According to a study by the US think tank Brookings Institution, their spending could increase by 50 percent between 2020 and 2030.

By 2030, one in six people will probably be at least 60 years old. (© Monkey Business -

“Silver Economy” is gaining in importance

While the middle class is growing, people, on average, are living longer. In 2019, life expectancy worldwide was 73 years – nine years more than in 1990 and 20 years above the 1960 average.

This has clear consequences for the composition of the world population. While one in eight people was at least 60 in 2017, according to the UN, one in six will be in this age group by 2030 and one in five in 2050.

The “Baby Boomers” (those born between 1946 and 1964) are also the wealthiest generation to date, and the so-called Silver Economy is booming. For example, the economic activities of people over 60 in all EU countries would form the third largest economy in the world.

Of course, there are also opposing developments. In rich countries such as Japan or Germany, for example, the aging of society poses significant problems for social security systems. As a result, working lifetimes will probably continue to increase.

Covestro enables modern lifestyles

More people over 60 and in the middle class: In order to meet their demands for a sustainable, healthy, comfortable and connected lifestyle, the right materials are needed. Covestro is responding to these socio-demographic developments with high-quality plastics and components.

Here are examples:

  • Example sustainability:

    Most people can't imagine life without a refrigerator. The devices run around the clock. To keep power consumption to a minimum, they must be well insulated – using highly efficient rigid foam. Covestro offers the necessary components not only for cooling devices, but also for insulating buildings against heat and cold.

  • Example health:

    Wearable sensors make it easy to measure your pulse, blood pressure and body temperature at home and on the go. Covestro produces wafer-thin films as well as the components for adhesives and foams for such plasters. This makes wearable smart patches even smaller, more functional and skin-friendly.

  • Example comfort:

    Good living comfort continues to be important: Upholstered furniture and mattresses not only need to be trendy, but also functional. Soft foam with components from Covestro contributes to this. Sustainability is also not neglected: Covestro is working intensively to ensure that mattresses, among other things, are completely recyclable.

  • Example connectivity:

    5G technology is accelerating the transition to a digital lifestyle. For example, smart devices that can be controlled remotely in networked households are becoming increasingly important. In order to enhance signal power, many 5G base stations will be needed in the coming years.
    Covestro offers particularly durable, sustainable and visually appealing materials for their antennas. In addition, the product range includes high-quality plastics for the hardware of laptops, smartphones, smart speakers and other electronical devices.

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