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From The World Bank on financial and private sector development
The Next 4 Billion: Market Size and Business Strategy at the Base of the Pyramid - March 2007

Four billion people who live in relative poverty have purchasing power representing a $5 trillion market, according to a report by the IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, and World Resources Institute (WRI).

The report is the first to measure the size of markets at the base of the economic pyramid using income and expenditure data from household surveys. The analysis is complemented by an overview of business strategies from successful enterprises operating in these markets.

Accurate data on market potential provides a foundation for private sector engagement that can drive down what the report calls the “BOP penalty,” where poorer people often encounter goods and services that are more expensive, of low quality, or difficult or impossible to access. The report seeks to help businesses think more creatively about new business models that meet the needs of these underserved markets.
The report characterizes the base of the pyramid (BOP) markets by region, country, and sector. Sector markets for 4 billion consumers range from those that are relatively small, such as water ($20 billion) and information and communication technologies ($51 billion), to medium-scale markets such as health ($158 billion), transportation ($179 billion), housing ($332 billion), and energy ($433 billion), to truly large markets, such as food ($2,895 billion).

Executive summary (PDF, 1.9MB) - Press release (PDF, 55KB) - in Spanish - in Portuguese

World Resources Institute

Executive summary, data guide
Chapter 1: Introduction and market overview
Chapter 2: The health market
Chapter 3: The information and communications market
Chapter 4: The water market
Chapter 5: The transportation market
Chapter 6: The housing market
Chapter 7: The energy market
Chapter 8: The food market
Chapter 9: The financial services market
References, Appendix A: Income data, Appendix B: Expenditure data, Country data tables