People in emerging markets expect the personal wealth of the next generation to increase, yet the gap between the haves and the have nots to widen

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Singapore, 16 October 2015 – Ahead of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, MasterCard research has revealed that people in Asia Pacific’s emerging markets (46.8) are much less optimistic about the state of the world for the next generation than those in developed markets (68.1).

For MasterCard’s first Next Generation Well-Being Index, almost 9,000 people across Asia Pacific were asked about the outlook for the next generation, covering issues including gender and financial equality, the environment, health, work-life balance, stress, disease and crime.

While both emerging (71.0) and developed markets (90.4) expressed optimism that personal wealth would improve for the next generation if they were sharply divided when it came to improvements in financial inequality. People in Asia Pacific’s emerging markets believed that the gap between the haves and the have nots is likely to get worse over the coming years (17.3), while people in developed markets think it will improve (62.5).

People in Asia Pacific’s emerging markets also felt that gender equality (21.4), the state of the environment (27.2), and violent crime (38.4) is likely to get worse for the next generation.

Emerging markets were more pessimistic than developed markets about everything except work-life balance (71.7). Along with overall health (58.8), work-life balance was one of the few areas where people in emerging markets were actually very optimistic that the next generation would see marked improvements.

In contrast, in developed markets, work-life balance was one of the areas people were less optimistic about (60.8), led by those in Taiwan (41.2) and Japan (47.4). But of all issues, people in developed markets are most concerned about the quality of the environment for the next generation (52.8).

Overall, people in Vietnam (36.3), Myanmar (39.8) and Bangladesh (40.0) were the most pessimistic that the next generation’s well-being was likely to improve, while people in Taiwan (80.0), followed by Korea (71.8) and Hong Kong (69.3) were the most optimistic.

On average across Asia Pacific, women (56.3) were marginally more optimistic about the state of the world for the next generation than men (54.7).

Georgette Tan, Group Head, Communications, Asia/Pacific said: “The World Bank recently announced that, for the first time, less than ten percent of the world’s population will be living in extreme poverty by the end of this year. Progress in Asia Pacific has been key to global poverty reduction but while people across the region are confident that the economic prospects of the future generation are going to improve, those in emerging markets are deeply concerned that the gap between the rich and the poor will widen. These concerns reflect a growing reality, that while the world has been able to pull millions out of poverty in recent decades, financial inequality has nevertheless been rising. It is crucial that as emerging markets grow everyone is included and able to reap the benefits. Inclusive growth is a key tenet of MasterCard’s work in the region, helping banks to provide financial services to those currently unable to save, as well as funding entrepreneurship training for people wanting to start their own business.”

Methodology 

Respondents were asked 10 questions pertaining to the issues and outlook for the next generation. Next generation was defined as anyone born since the year 2000, so people who will be 30 or under by the year 2030. The results of their responses were subsequently averaged to form the MasterCard Worldwide Next Generation Well Being Index (NG-WBI) score. The NG-WBI Index score which range from 0 – 100 where 0 represents the maximum negative response, 100 represents maximum positive response and 50 represents neutrality.

Next Generation Well Being Index, country scores (positive to negative):

1. Taiwan 80.0 6. Australia 62.9 11. Sri Lanka 54.4 16. Myanmar 39.8
2. Korea 71.8 7. New Zealand 61.7 12. China 44.7 17. Vietnam 36.3
3. Hong Kong 69.3 8. Malaysia 58.0 13. India 44.4
4. Japan 66.3 9. Philippines 55.8 14. Indonesia 41.0
5. Singapore 64.7 10. Thailand 53.8 15. Bangladesh 40.0
Average for AP 55.6
Average for Developed AP 68.1
Average for Emerging AP 46.8

Next Generation Well Being Index, issue scores (negative to positive):

Rank (negative to positive) Issue Average for AP Average for Developed AP Average for Emerging AP
1 Financial equality 35.9 62.5 17.3
2 Environment quality 37.7 52.8 27.2
3 Gender equality 38.4 62.6 21.4
4 Violent crime 52.8 73.5 38.4
5 Work stress 59.9 65.4 56.0
6 Disease outbreak 60.7 80.4 46.9
7 Family stress 61.6 64.5 59.5
8 Overall health 62.6 68.1 58.8
9 Work-life balance 67.2 60.8 71.7
10 Personal finances 79.0 90.4 71.0

MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties

The MasterCard Index suite in Asia Pacific includes the long-running MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence, as well as the MasterCard Index of Women’s Advancement, MasterCard Index of Financial Literacy, and the MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities. In addition to the indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including  Online Shopping, Ethical Spending and a series on Consumer Purchasing Priorities (covering Travel, Dining & Entertainment, Education, Money Management, Luxury and General Shopping).

About MasterCard
MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardAP and @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

Contacts
Georgette Tan, MasterCard,+65 6390 5971,  georgette_tan@mastercard.com

Georgina Mallory, Weber Shandwick,+65 6825 8026, gmallory@webershandwick.com