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Middle-Class Grows in Africa

May 3, 2011
Plain English Version

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Economic growth in Africa is creating a broad middle-class. It is taking place across the African continent. Experts compare it to the growth of the middle-class in India and China.

This is a dramatic event in the global economy. In the last ten years, the number of middle-class consumers in Africa has grown by more than 60% to 313 million people.

African consumers are increasingly buying appliances and electronic devices. Companies are trying to meet the demand.

There are differences of opinion about what is “middle-class.” Most agree it is the amount spent on items that are “not essential.”  The economies of African countries are growing faster than developed countries.

It is difficult to get accurate information.

The continent’s 313 million-person middle class are about 34% of the population. Some 61% of Africa’s one billion people live on less than $2 a day.

There are great differences in wealth. The wealth of about 100,000 of the richest Africans totaled 60% of the continent’s gross domestic product.

Many Africans are getting more education and migrating from farms to better-paying jobs in cities. However, the growth of Africa’s population makes it difficult to reduce poverty.

Africa has done better than other regions during the economic turndown. Experts agree it has a promising future.

The Wall Street Journal




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