Economic & Social Well-being

One of the outcomes of food system activities and the drivers is the economic and social well-being of the actors interacting in the global food systems. These outcomes in turn influence the food system drivers.

In this section we present selected data on economic and social well-being.

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Global Income

Low and middle-income countries are set to be most affected by food insecurity and malnourishment in the years to come.

Source: Bendjebbar Pauline, Bricas Nicolas, Giordano Thierry, 2019. Food systems at risk. A scientific handout for the High Level Event of the Global Network against Food Crises: Food & Agriculture in times of crisis, Brussels, 2-3 April 2019. 48 p.

Cartography: Agnès Stienne

Population Change

The world population is expected to increase to 9.8 billion by 2050. This growth will be critical for LIC and LMIC countries, particularly in terms of increased food demand and increased pressure on natural resources.

Source: Bendjebbar Pauline, Bricas Nicolas, Giordano Thierry, 2019. Food systems at risk. A scientific handout for the High Level Event of the Global Network against Food Crises: Food & Agriculture in times of crisis, Brussels, 2-3 April 2019. 48 p.

Cartography: Agnès Stienne

Urban Population Change

There will be a 50% increase in urban populations between 2019 and 2030, with LIC countries growing at an annual rat eof 3.9%, and LMIC growing at a rate of 2.4% in the next 10 years. The map demonstrates countries where urban populations are projected to be greater than rural populations. Urbanization’s implications on food demand are related to diversification of food products and changes in food practices and concerns.

Source: Bendjebbar Pauline, Bricas Nicolas, Giordano Thierry, 2019. Food systems at risk. A scientific handout for the High Level Event of the Global Network against Food Crises: Food & Agriculture in times of crisis, Brussels, 2-3 April 2019. 48 p.

Cartography: Agnès Stienne

Rural Population Change

The rapid rate of urbanization should not detract from the increase in rural populations globally. In some countries, the rural populations are set to incresae by more than 20%, as demonstrated in the map. This results in an increase in food demand, and a need to create more rural jobs at a time when agriculture may not be an attractive employment option for many individuals.

Source: Bendjebbar Pauline, Bricas Nicolas, Giordano Thierry, 2019. Food systems at risk. A scientific handout for the High Level Event of the Global Network against Food Crises: Food & Agriculture in times of crisis, Brussels, 2-3 April 2019. 48 p.

Cartography: Agnès Stienne

Agricultural Employment

While agriculture may not be an attractive employment option for many entering the workforce, a transformation towards intensive, sustainable, and high capital models of production, and a development of other parts of the food system can improve the absorptive capacity of the agri-food sector.

Source: Bendjebbar Pauline, Bricas Nicolas, Giordano Thierry, 2019. Food systems at risk. A scientific handout for the High Level Event of the Global Network against Food Crises: Food & Agriculture in times of crisis, Brussels, 2-3 April 2019. 48 p.

Cartography: Agnès Stienne

Middle Class

The global growth of the middle class is likely to result in an increased diversification of diets and an increased demand for animal products, sugars, fats, and processed foods. This change will have serious implications for the global nutritional profile, with significant parts of the population consuming inappropriate levels and types of nutrients.


Source: Bendjebbar Pauline, Bricas Nicolas, Giordano Thierry, 2019. Food systems at risk. A scientific handout for the High Level Event of the Global Network against Food Crises: Food & Agriculture in times of crisis, Brussels, 2-3 April 2019. 48 p.

Cartography: Agnès Stienne