The Next 4 Billion: Market Size and Business Strategy at the Base of the Pyramid

Discussions of base of the economic pyramid (BOP) markets have, until now, relied principally on business case studies and rough estimates of market size. The Next 4 Billion uses previously unreleased data to measure market opportunity at the BOP.

Four billion low-income consumers, a majority of the world’s population, constitute the base of the economic pyramid (BOP). New empirical measures of their aggregate purchasing power and behavior as consumers suggest significant opportunities for market-based approaches to better meet their needs, increase their productivity and incomes, and empower their entry into the formal economy.
This volume, based on unique access to the household income and consumption surveys of developing and transition countries, offers a new and compelling perspective on low-income communities worldwide. Drawing on income data from 110 countries and standardized expenditure data from 36 countries across the globe, The Next 4 Billion is an important first look at the market opportunity represented by four billion individuals who make up the BOP. The analysis for the first time provides a quantitative assessment and characterization of BOP markets, at several levels of analysis:

*How large is the BOP and what is its income-by country and region?

*What is total market size and consumer ability to pay within a number of critical sectors, including water and sanitation, energy, IT/telecom, healthcare, and financial services?

*What is nature of the penalty faced by BOP consumers in the form of higher prices, poorer quality goods and services, or lack of access to services? What does the BOP penalty imply for needed policy reforms or opportunities for market rationalization?

Further information


Partnership types

Doing business with the poor; Standards and guidelines development