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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Where did all of the ladies go?


I know it sad – but – I find the subject of demographics and the determinants of population change a fascinating subject and one that far too few marketers study.

The Economist has a terrific article about the way that women in Asia are deciding to skip or delay getting married.

Marriage ages have risen all over the world, but the increase is particularly marked in Asia. People there now marry even later than they do in the West. The mean age of marriage in the richest places—Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong—has risen sharply in the past few decades, to reach 29-30 for women and 31-33 for men.

There is a lot of speculation about the reasons for this development but the bottom line is that it must be having a massive impact on consumption patterns and the demand for property. Wind forward 40-50 years and tit will have even more impact on the issues of long term care.

So, in the case of Japan, not only is the population ageing but the traditional support network (wife or daughter) is no longer going to be available to look after parents. This creates big opportunities for the care industry. Dick Stroud

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