With a projected annual growth rate of over 5% a year, ASEAN is forecasted to overtake the EU and Japan to become the 4th largest economy in the world by 2050, behind China, India, and the US.
This growth is supported by favorable demographics. Approximately 60% of ASEAN’s population is under the age of 35, and 43% under age 24. ASEAN also has the world’s 3rd largest labor force, trailing only China and India. ASEAN’s middle class is expected to more than double in size from 135 million (24% of ASEAN’s population) in 2015 to 334 million (51% of the population) in 2030. In 2012 ASEAN crossed the threshold of having over 50% of its population living in urban areas.