Over 50% of the World’s Population is Under 30 – Social Media on the Rise

Over 50% of the World’s Population is Under 30 – Social Media on the Rise

Roughly 52% of the world’s population is under 30-years-old.*  It is estimated that the U.S. population of 310 million equates to 4.5% of the world population.  Meanwhile, China’s population of 1.33 billion represents almost 20% of the world population.  Please note that Google and Facebook don’t dominate China like they do other parts of the world, rather Baidu, QQ and Renren lead the way.

52% of world's population is 0-29
Over 50% of the world’s population is under 30 (U.S. Census Bureau | Click to Enlarge)

Looking at the population in five-year windows reveals that 0-4 years-old is the largest segment.  This intuitively makes sense from a death rate perspective in developing countries.  As we look at the ages of anyone over 10 and under 60 the largest group is those 20-24 years of age.  The smallest group are those 55-59.

U.S. Data

If we are to drill down into the U.S. data it differs from the world population in the fact that the 20-24 year-olds are the third largest segment after the segments of  1) 45-49and 2) 50-54.  96% of Generation Y indicate they have used social media tools (Source: Trendspotting).  Not sure how the other 4% somehow have avoided social media, but we will leave that for another day. The life expectancy of someone born in the U.S. today is 78.

According to this data, it’s predicted that Generation Y will outnumber Baby Boomers in July 2010 (based on Census Bureau Projections).  There is much debate on which years define each generation, but even running the numbers numerous ways shows that Generation Y will outnumber Boomers.  If you define Generation Y or Millennials as being born between 1980-2000 (10 to 30-year-olds in 2010) the population equals 82,576,000.  The way the Census Bureau breaks out data in 5-year increments this window keeps the data “whole.”  For Baby Boomers, if you run the numbers to how the census bureau defines a Boomer as the years 1946-64 (ironically, people aged 46-64 in 2010) the population equals 79,590,000.  If you define boomers like William Strauss and Neil Howe as being born from 1943-1960 (50-67 years of age in 2010) the population equals 69,522,000 and that is giving the boomers two extra years (50-69 years of age in 2010).

How Do I Live to 100? – Be Social

For kicks here are some bold predictions*:

  1. Facebook’s main competition may come from China
  2. Physical paper newspapers will be done by 2014
  3. Television, as we know it today, will be done by 2016 (served over IP)

Oh, and one last thing.  While Males start out as the larger population (107

index )females live longer and flip this (Male index goes from 107 to 23) by the time they are 100.  One of the top characteristics doctors have determined of centenarians (people that live to be 100) is that they have active social lives.  Isn’t it appropriate that females will be carrying the social torch for years to come?

* Based on 2010 data of 3,548,760,268 (age 0-29) and total population of 6,830,586,985 = roughly 52%.  If you run the numbers for 2009 it comes out to roughly 52% as well.  Let me know if you catch any errors please.
**Feel free to argue with me now or tell me “I told you so” starting in 2014.  Larry Weber feels it’s 2015 for Newspaper and 2018 for TV.

About the Author: Erik Qualman

Often called a Digital Dale Carnegie and The Tony Robbins of Tech, Erik Qualman is a #1 Best Selling Author and Motivational Keynote Speaker that has spoken in 49 countries.

His Socialnomics work has been featured on 60 Minutes to the Wall Street Journal and used by the National Guard to NASA. His book Digital Leader propelled him to be voted the 2nd Most Likeable Author in the World behind Harry Potter's J.K. Rowling. Qualman is a sitting professor at Harvard & MIT's edX labs.

His latest book What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube is a Pulitzer Prize nominated work.
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