This post is also available in: Spanish
At the recent 55th Annual Assembly of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), its vice-president, Hasan Tuluy, indicated that the middle class now represents 32% of the population in Latin America, while the poor class makes up 30% of the population.
This is the first time in history that the middle class in Latin America has been larger than the poor class.
According to IABD’s definition, middle class in Latin America is defined as people earning between 10 and 50 dollars a day, while the poor class earns between 0 and 4 dollars a day.
The growth that Tuluy has observed for all of Latin America is obviously noticeable in the region’s major markets:
- The middle class in Argentina grew from 39% of homes in 2004 to 46% in 2013
- The middle class in Brazil grew from being nearly 39% of the population in 2002 to being 50% of the population in 2009
- The middle class in Chile grew from 20% to 53% of the population by 2009 and in 2013 it was reported that the Chilean middle class earned more than the middle class in any other Latin American country
- The middle class in Colombia grew from being 16% of the population in 2002 to 26.5% in 2011, with a total amount of nearly 14 million people
- The middle class in Costa Rica grew from being 31% of the population in 2002 to 40% of the population in 2009
- The middle class in Ecuador grew from just 14% of the population in 2003 to 35% of the population in 2012
- Between 2000 and 2010, the middle class in Mexico grew from being 38% of the homes in the country to 42% for a total of 12.3 million homes and 44 million people
- The middle class in Peru doubled between 2005 and 2011 and is now at 70% of the population
- The middle class in Uruguay grew from 46% of the population in 2002 to 63% of the population in 2011
What This Means for Advertisers and Agencies
The United States experienced a boom in consumption in the 1950s—and it’s not a coincidence that this happened with the huge growth of the middle class after World War II. Brazil is already showing the effects of a growing middle class with an impressive rise in consumption. And as we look at several categories in Latin America in recent years, we see sharp increases in purchases and specific products that are selling well, including mobile devices.
Given this consumer growth, it’s no surprise that companies like MagnaGlobal predict a sharp rise in ad spend in Latin America for 2014 and beyond. The challenge that companies face is understanding the members of the new middle class in Latin America, including their media habits and aspirations, to better target them with customized messaging in the vehicles that best reach them.
To find out how we can help you reach Latin America’s growing middle class with a campaign in any type of media, please contact us.