Africa’s heterogeneous middle class: A 10-city study of consumer lifestyle indicators

Income and living standards measures have long been used in market research and marketing in Africa. This study examined a set of lifestyle indicators (both belongings and behaviors) to determine their success in profiling middle-class consumers in sub-Saharan Africa.


Multiple calls have been made to deepen our understanding of what it means to be middle class in emerging markets (Cavusgil et al., 2018). Specifically, the abundance of attention on Africa's middle class highlights the importance of coherently understanding how the middle class behaves, consumes, and lives, given that the segment's size alone does not provide an accurate depiction of its spending power (Chikweche & Fletcher, 2014b; Kharas & Gertz, 2010). The middle consumer layer is often characterized (compared with the base of the pyramid) by their skills, education, and higher salaries and the African middle class is often...

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