In 2010, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers identified three principal emerging population groups across the world, based on characteristics associated with their current and projected stage
of economic development.
- Fully developed, mature, post-industrial societies, such as those in Europe, characterised by stable or declining populations which are increasing in age.
- Late-stage developing nations that are currently industrialising rapidly, for example China, which will experience decelerating rates of population growth, coupled with increasing affluence and age profile.
- Newly developing countries that are beginning to industrialise, primarily in Africa, with high to very high population growth rates (typically doubling or tripling their populations by 2050), and characterised by a predominantly young age profile.
Each group over the coming decades will need to address different issues surrounding food production, storage and transportation, as well as consumer expectations, if we are to continue to feed all our people.