This is a collection of long-term forecasts based on quantitative data from diverse sectors. Long-term means 20 years or more. Diverse means forecasts in a wide range of activities such as transportation, education, food, shelter, entertainment, technology, etc. You can help grow the collection. Please check our list of desired indicators and submit suggestions to extrapolations@kk.org. We're also collecting and crossposting any and all attempts to extrapolate the future on Tumblr and Pinterest. You can follow us on Twitter too.

Proliferation of cell sites and light bulbs


This chart reflects production of large incandescent lamps, which include the ordinary electric-light bulbs for residential, commercial, and industrial use. This category excludes miniature lamps such as those for motor vehicles, flashlights, and Christmas trees. (Bright, p.5, Note 2). Production of other types of lamps (miniatures, photofloods, etc) seem to’ve been fairly low in the first three decades of lamp production (1891-1919), but began to ramp up soon thereafter, certainly by 1939 (figures reported in Bright, p. 10), and by 1945 these other categories of lamps accounted for about 36% of total lamp production (calculated based on figures reported by the FTC in 1980, p.34).


Cell sites in service
1986 1,531
1996 30,045
2006 195,613
2016 308,334

CTIA, 2017
“Wireless Snapshot 2017″

Light bulbs shipped (thousands)
1891 7,500
1899 25,320
1909 66,776
1919 224,713

MIT Studies of Innovation, 1949
Arthur A. Bright
“The Electric-Lamp Industry: Technological Change and Economic Development from 1800 to 1947″
p.4, Table I: The Production Of Large Incandescent Lamps In The United States 1879-1945

Data from these two sources is aggregated in CC’s Excel file: cell-sites-vs-light-bulbs.xls, which includes additional years of data (through 1945) for the light bulb industry, as well as calculated rates of growth.


Additional source for light bulb production

Federal Trade Commission, February 1980
“Staff Report on the Development and Structure of the U.S. Electric Lamp Industry”


Total volume of light bulb industry
1912     90.8 million
1926     478.9 million (527% increase from 1912)


Comparison of 1945 and 1974 Shipments of Various Types of Electric Lamps
[thousands of units]
Type of Lamp 1945 shipments 1974 shipments Percentage change
Photographic 36,447 2,406,332 6,502.3
Large incan. 794,402 1,532,039 92.9
Miniature* 337,325 964,016 185.8
Fluorescent 42,781 284,529 561.1
Total 1,250,689 5,395,942 331.4


*Of the 964,016 Miniature lamps shipped in 1974, 665,208 were used in automotive applications. (p.43)

U.S. Department of Commerce,_c: Bureau of the Census, Current Industrial Report: Series MQ-36B(74)-5, Electric Lamps, 1975; and U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Facts for Industry: Electric Lamps, 1946.

Table 111-1 shows the U.S. value of shipments, exports, and imports in SIC 3641 for the years 1967 to 1973. During that time; imports never accounted for more than 6.79 percent of total domestic value of shipments while exports never accounted for more than 5.21 percent. When imports are added to value of shipments and exports subtracted from the whole, consumption can be found. Between 1967 and 1973, 93 percent of the total lamps consumed in the United States were manufactured in the U.S. In the same seven-year period, 94.8 percent of the lamps manufactured in the United States were used in the U.S.




“Consumption Spreads Faster Today”
Chart shows historic penetration rates for new technologies – accelerating over time.
Includes electricity.


Other interesting excerpt:
At the average wage, a VCR fell from 365 hours in 1972 to a mere two hours today. A cellphone dropped from 456 hours in 1984 to four hours. A personal computer, jazzed up with thousands of times the computing power of the 1984 I.B.M., declined from 435 hours to 25 hours. Even cars are taking a smaller toll on our bank accounts: in the past decade, the work-time price of a mid-size Ford sedan declined by 6 percent.

New York Times, February 2008

graphic src:
Nicholas Felton (not sure about data src, although many other version of this chart exist, so it must be widely available data)

larger version of the graphic

And here’s an older version of the chart (1998), different illustrator, additional detail.

And another version, through 2010, which really emphasizes the acceleration of penetration rates.


U.S. Housholds by Type of Phone, 1900-2011


Harvard Business Review, Nov 2013

graphic by:
Michael Degusta, MIT Technology Review
using data from Forrester, Knowledge Networks, Net York times, PEW, US Census


The History of the Light Bulb – US Department of Energy
Interactive timeline of light bulb technology

Light – Our World in Data
Price (1300 to current, UK), consumption (1700 to current, UK), and access (current, global) to lighting

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Posted by cc on April 12, 2018 at 10:32 pm | comment count

Internet Connectivity and Infrastructure

Pew Internet/Broadband Fact Sheet







Pew Research Center, Feb 2018
Pew Internet/Broadband Fact Sheet


FCC Fixed Broadband Deployment Map



See the source link for an interactive version of the map.

FCC Fixed Broadband Deployment
Accessed April 2018

Note: Discussion of the FCC map and it’s latest version is available here. The latest map is based on 2016 data. FCC does not have an equivalent map for mobile broadband, although it does publish an annual report on mobile wireless competition.


20th Mobile Wireless Competition Report Quick Facts





FCC, September 2017
20th Mobile Wireless Competition Report Quick Facts

A couple more interesting bits from the full report…

NOTE: MOU = minutes of voice use

Note: A “connection” is a paid subscription, equivalent to the number of ‘lines’ when discussing landline phone service.

Note: According to CTIA, there has been an approximate 57 percent growth in the number of cell sites over the last ten years (in 1986, there were 1,531 cell sites in service).

The report notes that, according to CTIA, the number of cell sites will significantly increase as the mobile wireless industry densifies and prepares for 5G. Also, because multiple cell sites can be co-located in the same “tower” site, the reported cell sites should not be equated with “towers.” The reported cell sites include repeaters
and other cell-extending devices (e.g., femtocells or distributed antenna systems).

A specialized communications tower industry has developed to provide and manage the
support structures for the cell sites. Today, there are more than 120 tower and DAS operators in the United States, and a majority of towers are now owned or operated by independent companies rather than by mobile wireless service providers.142 Independent tower operators own, operate and lease shared wireless communications and broadcasting towers, manage other tall structure sites (such as rooftops and water towers), and to a lesser extent, own and operate neutral facilities to host small cells and DAS networks for mobile service providers. [p.32]

FCC, Sep 2017
“Implementation of Section 6002(b) of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, Annual Report and Analysis of Competitive Market Conditions with Respect to Mobile Wireless, Including Commercial Mobile Services”


[In the U.S.] Expected arrival time-frame for 5G roll out with decent coverage and availability in handsets:
early 2020s

(Although 2019 phones will be advertising capacity, even if there’s no network to connect to right away.)

“I believe that eventually consumers will pay for just one broadband connection, fixed and mobile. When I say 50M or more homes, I mean wireless substitution. I think you can draw a parallel with local telephone service and long distance. The long distance business evaporated. Similarly, today’s fixed and mobile broadband services will collapse into one. The cellular operators today are better positioned to take that market.” Peter Rysavy (wireless technologies consultant)

Forbes, Sep 2017
“The Dawn Of 5G: Will Wireless Kill the Broadband Star?”

Ericsson (Nov 2017) has the same prediction for 5G, anticipating coverage for more than 20% of the global population (1 billion) by the end of 2023. First deployments are expected in 2019.


Submarine Cable Capacity




Submarine Telecoms Industry Report 2017


Network World, Mar 2018
“Submarine cable boom fueled by new tech, soaring demand”


Between 2013 and 2017, the subsea cable industry has added an average of 32 percent of capacity annually on major submarine cable routes.

SubTel Forum projects global submarine cable capacity will increase up to 143 percent between 2017 to 2022, and it also notes that a construction boom is already underway. Last year, 62,000 miles of submarine cable was added globally. This, after global averages didn’t crack 19,000 miles of added cable between 2013 to 2016.

According to TeleGeography, the international capacity deployed by companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon rose 14-fold between 2012 to 2016. … By investing in them, these mega-companies get them built faster. They also get a level of control over construction, maintenance and operation that’s ultimately more economical than becoming a paying customer on a telecom’s cable.

[It’s now cheaper to build systems with greater bandwidth. In 2013, new systems averaged 9 terabits per second (Tbps) — multiple systems planned for 2018 and 2019 will have capacities of 60 Tbsp. Tech advances are also eliminating costly and complex infrastructure layers, such as regen equipment. In addition, new cables can land directly inside multi-tenant data centers, rather than a traditional cable landing station (CLS) on the beach.]


Telegeography, Nov 2017
A Complete List of Content Providers’ Submarine Cable Holdings

This article lists cables owned or strongly supported by Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft.


The amount of capacity deployed by content providers has outpaced all other customers of international bandwidth in recent years. Between 2012 and 2016 the amount of international capacity deployed by companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon has risen 13-fold to 179 Tbps. (In contrast, international capacity deployed by all other operators only rose threefold, to 272 Tbps).

Content providers prioritize some submarine cable routes more than others in their network deployments. Between 2012 and 2016, content provider demand was the strongest across the Atlantic where capacity rose at a compound annual rate of 66 percent to 42 Tbps.

And as such, the largest content providers have built U.S.-centric network architectures. Their investments on systems directly connecting Europe to Asia are almost non-existent, in comparison. In the Atlantic and Pacific, content providers accounted for over half of total demand in 2016. In contrast, content providers represented only a small share of capacity usage on routes connected to the Middle East and Africa.

Used International Bandwidth by Source, 2002-2016


Submarine Telecoms Industry Report 2017


Submarine fiber systems ownership
2013-2017: 61% private, 39% consortium
2018 and beyond: 83% private, 17% consortium

A recent trend towards private ownership has been observed compared to historical trends of primarily consortia ownership. Business cases for smaller systems have been prevalent, and the demand driving these systems has differed from years past. Globe-spanning infrastructure cables that require consortium ownership have fallen out of favor, contributing to this trend shift.

The boom of private ownership will continue to extend well into the future, as more niche and point-to-point systems are implemented. Much of this is driven by intra-regional needs — typically for smaller nations looking to get connected. However, a growing number of systems are being driven by factors not previously seen in the submarine fiber industry.



Norway Telecom Trends

The Norwegian Communications Authority prepares a twice annual report of statistics showing developments in electronic communications services, including fixed telephony, mobile telephony and services, broadband and TV transmissions.

See especially Chapter 2, Development Trends, stating on page 11

Norwegian Communications Authority, May 2016
“The Norwegian Electronic Communications Service Market 2015″

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Posted by cc on April 4, 2018 at 4:57 pm | comment count

Size of Homes, Global

What’s the size of average homes around the world?


China & India Urban Residential Floor Space in 1993, 2002, 2008


Average income growth has been a key reason behind these different trends in the quality of the housing stock. The urbanisation process in China has transferred large numbers of workers from relatively low productivity jobs in the rural sector to higher productivity jobs in urban areas. This movement has been a driver of the rapid growth in incomes in China over the past three decades, which has far exceeded the growth in incomes in India (Graph  7). Over time, Chinese households have chosen to spend their higher income on higher quality dwellings and dwellings with larger floor space and, as a consequence, the share of concrete dwellings and residential floor space per capita has increased.

Reserve Bank of Australia, March 2014
Housing Trends in China and India


Europe Compared with US Home Sizes, 1950, 1984, 2005, 2015


Note: This graphic is a very rough assembly of data reported in mass media publications (not well-cited).

Reddit user chyken
Comparing average house size in US to Europe, 1950-2015 [OC]
citing US Census, Elle Decor, Apartment Therapy, Not Buying Anything


Europe Home Sizes (all vs. newly built)

Evans & Hartwich, 2005
Unaffordable housing: Fables and myths
p. 41


Europe, Australia, Canada, US, Japan (single year)


Demographia (Wendell Cox), 2006 (data via IA)
International House Sizes
citing Japan Statistical Yearbook, European Housing 2002, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canadian Home Builders Association, Infometrics.


Home Sizes: Select Europe, US, Canada, China, Australia, Japan (single year)

Note: Lots of overlap with Demographia set, above, but some additional countries



Shrink That Footprint, 2013 (date via IA)
How big is a house? Average house size by country

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Posted by cc on March 29, 2018 at 7:45 am | comment count

US Food Imports and Income Spent on Food


src (unless otherwise specified):
Economic Research Service, “Import Shares of US Food Consumption Using the Volume Method,”
U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2009. Available at: http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/563776/import_1.xls. [found via archive.org]

2013 src:


food expend src:
Economic Research Service
Food Price Environment: Interactive Visualization
Accessed March 26, 2018


CC’s note: see import_1.xls in DropBox for chart

Posted by cc on March 26, 2018 at 10:46 pm | comment count

Global Mall Development Trends

Update on mall building rates? US? Globally? Developing world?
Trends in mall development


Global Mall Construction Rates

In 2016, global shopping center completions were up 11.4% over 2015 levels, despite having slowed over the past few years.

However, the pace of development continues to slow, with the number of shopping centers under construction down 22%

The majority of added shopping center space came to market in Asia, but The Americas registered the strongest growth, with completion levels up 43.6%, fueled by construction growth in Mexico.

CBRE via Malls.com, May 2017


In 2016:
   17% of retailers planned to open more than 40 stores
   67% planned to open no more than 20
Most popular formats for expansion
   76% street shops
   72% regional shopping malls
   45% open air shopping malls
   20% transport hubs (airport, railway terminals)
   18% outlets
   18% retail park
   15% concession counters in department stores
   8% duty free

CBRE Research, April 2016
How Active Are Retailers Globally?


Global shopping centre completions started to slow (in 2015) as parts of the global retail market witness the effects of an imbalance between significant supply and demand.

Despite this, there continues to be exceptional levels of construction, particularly in Asia. Globally, 10.7 million sq m of new space opened in 2015 in the 168 cities we surveyed; this is down on 2014, where 12.1 million sq m of space were completed; and a further 41.9 million sq m is under construction, up from 39 million in 2014.

CBRE, April 2016
Global Retail ViewPoint – Shopping Centre Development April 2016
[full report here]

Discussion of the above CBRE report is available here.


Global Retail Development Index
Shows where retail investment has been most attractive (ranks top 30 countries). These are the top 10 countries in 2017

India 71.7
growing middle class, rapidly increasing consumer spending, overtakes China

China 70.4
market is maturing, still leading in e-commerce

Malaysia 60.9
good long-term prospects bc of tourists, higher disposable income, govt investments

Turkey 59.8
moved up two places

United Arab Emirates 59.4
most attractive market in the region

Vietnam 56.1
moves ahead, important market for retail expansion with its liberalized investment laws

Morocco 56.1
continues to rise in rankings, govt efforts to attract foreign investment

Indonesia 55.9
continued liberalization and infrastructure investments

Peru 54
outperforms other regional economies, two decades of solid growth

Colombia 53.6
despite lower than expected GDP growth, still attractive for retailers

ATKearney, 2017
The 2017 Global Retail Development Index™

CC’s note: These rankings are available back to 2004. Could aggregate, if this were of interest to KK. (Started to aggregate a couple years’ of data, but stopped bc I wasn’t sure if it was of interest.)
GRDI tab

European Mall Construction Rates

In 2016, European shopping center construction was down 6% overall compared with 2015. Western Europe saw an increase of 15% in new shopping center completions, but this was outweighed by a 17% decline in the UK, as well as a 17% decline in Central and Eastern Europe (which also dropped 11% in 2015). Further declines are expected in 2017.

Cushman & Wakefield, May 2017
European Shopping Centers: The Development Story
[full report behind paywall]

US Mall Construction Rates

U.S. mall development peaked in the 1970s and has steadily declined. Just six large malls were built between 2006 and 2015, compared with 54 during the previous decade, according to Green Street.


Wall Street Journal, Oct 2017
Big Mall Operator Does the Unthinkable—Builds a Mall
paywall, these excerpts via Zerohedge
With Malls In Full Meltdown Mode, GGP Goes All-In With $525MM Connecticut Mega-Mall


Retail Availability Rates, US, 2016

2005 7.4%
2006 8.1%
2007 9.0%
2008 10.8%
2009 12.6%
2010 12.9%
2011 12.9%
2012 12.5%
2013 11.7%
2014 11.0%
2015 10.7%
2016 10.2%
2017p 10.1%
2018p 10.0%
2019p 10.1%


The oft-reported demise of the retail sector was another topic tackled by the panelists. But they were not ready to sign on to the prevailing attitude that retail is in steep decline. “Store growth continues on a net basis,” Ludgin said.

The forecast found economists equally optimistic about the retail sector. Vacancy rates (see above) are expected to hold steady at about 10 percent for the next two years, while rental rate growth will decline from 2.7 percent to 2.0 percent in 2018—still above historic averages, the economists predict.

Though the panelists agreed that many elements of the retail sector will continue to struggle—in particular, certain suburban malls—others will see an uptick, especially as the link grows between retail and distribution space. Retail space can play a key role in solving the “last mile” issue.

“The store is just a way to deliver goods to people,” Ludgin said. “You may not need the same square footage, but the store is not dead. . . . It’s performing a somewhat different function than in the past.”

Retail space linked to services and entertainment space is still performing well, Conway said. “What we’re not seeing is addition of shop space,” he said. Suburban malls will have to deal with obsolete space, but many retail spaces will evolve, as we “see the convergence of retail and industrial into one,” he said.

Many online retailers, including Amazon, are starting to invest in brick-and-mortar space, Ludgin noted. And discount department stores “remain extremely viable and are still opening stores,” including chains like T.J. Maxx and Nordstrom Rack, which offer a value proposition. “As a nation, we still like department stores, and we still shop in them. It’s just that they are less in regional malls and more in open-air centers,” Ludgin said.

Centers focused on local interests and artisan wares are also performing well, Reagen added. “There is a huge shift in people wanting something different,” she said. “These are centers that will remain viable.”

Urbal Land Institute, citing CBRE, April 2017
ULI Forecast Calls for Moderate Growth for Most U.S. Real Estate Sectors


2015 Summary from research firm CBRE:

Across major U.S. metropolitan areas, completions of new shopping centre space increased in 2015 and the pipeline of new projects grew. In 2015, 13 significant centres were delivered in the cohort of major metropolitan areas, compared to only six in 2014. Lifestyle centres comprised the majority of deliveries, both in terms of the number of centres and their area; the largest of these was the Village at Westfield Topanga (54,812 sq m) in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. The greatest numbers of new shopping centres were delivered in Texas, with three in Houston and two in Fort Worth. [p.6]…

Within the U.S. there are now 15 major projects under construction up from nine in 2014. The most activity remains concentrated in the New York City metropolitan area, fuelled by the massive American Dream at Meadowlands, which is being developed by the owners of the largest mall in the United States – Mall of the Americas in Minnesota; the centre includes an indoor ski slope, among other attractions. Other projects in the city are smaller, but have a very high profile: The World Trade Center shopping centre in downtown Manhattan, operated by Westfield, and The Shops and Restaurants at the Hudson Yards, a huge new mixed use project developed by Related and Oxford on the West side of Manhattan, and City Point, a mixed use development in downtown Brooklyn (Acadia). Houston has four significant projects under construction, totalling 143,943 sq m. The 15 shopping centres under construction are broadly diversified among new lifestyle centres, super-regional and regional malls and power centres. Generally centres in the U.S. are opening with upwards of 90% occupancy rates. [p.10]

CBRE, Q2 2016
Global Shopping Centre pipeline rises while overall completion levels start to slow


US Shopping Center Rates of Growth, 2013-2017


CC’s calculation of growth based on ICSC data. See OF-charts.xls, “Shopping-Centers” tab.
2017 data:
ICSC, Jan 2017
U.S. Shopping-Center Classification and Characteristics
2016 data: 2016 Internet Archive version of above
2015 data: 2015 Internet Archive version
2014 data: 2014 IA version
2013 data: ICSC, 2014 Economic Impact of Shopping Centers
2012 data: ICSC, 2013 Economic Impact of Shopping Centers


GLA: gross leasable area
square footage and industry share data below refer to January 2017

Super-Regional Mall
Similar in concept to regional malls, but offering more variety and assortment.
Avg size: 1,255,382 sq ft
% Share of Industry GLA: 10.2%

Regional Mall
General merchandise or fashion-oriented offerings. Typically, enclosed with inward-facing stores connected by a common walkway. Parking surrounds the outside perimeter.
Avg size: 589,659 sq ft
% Share of Industry GLA: 4.7% (Jan 2017)

Community Center (“Large Neighborhood Center”)
General merchandise or convenience- oriented offerings. Wider range of apparel and other soft goods offerings than neighborhood centers. The center is usually configured in a straight line as a strip, or may be laid out in an L or U shape, depending on the site and design.
Avg size: 197,509 sq ft
% Share of Industry GLA: 25.4%

Neighborhood Center
Convenience oriented.
Avg size: 71,827 sq ft
% Share of Industry GLA: 30.8%

Attached row of stores or service outlets managed as a coherent retail entity, with on-site parking usually located in front of the stores. Open canopies may connect the store fronts, but a strip center does not have enclosed walkways linking the stores. A strip center may be configured in a straight line, or have an “L” or “U” shape. A convenience center is among the smallest of the centers, whose tenants provide a narrow mix of goods and personal services to a very limited trade area.
Avg size: 13,218 sq ft
% Share of Industry GLA: 12.0%

Power Center
Category-dominant anchors, including discount department stores, off-price stores, wholesale clubs, with only a few small tenants.
Avg size: 438,626 sq ft
% Share of Industry GLA: 13.0%

Upscale national-chain specialty stores with dining and entertainment in an outdoor setting.
Avg size: 335,852 sq ft
% Share of Industry GLA: 2.2%

Factory Outlet
Manufacturers’ and retailers’ outlet stores selling brandname goods at a discount.
Avg size: 238,060 sq ft
% Share of Industry GLA: 1.2%

Leisure, tourist, retail and service-oriented offerings with entertainment as a unifying theme. Often located in urban areas, they may be adapted from older–sometimes historic–buildings and can be part of a mixed-use project.
Avg size: 147,791 sq ft
% Share of Industry GLA: 0.3%

Airport Retail
Consolidation of retail stores located within a commercial
Avg size: 249,240
% Share of Industry GLA: 0.2%

ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers), January 2017
U.S. Shopping-Center Classification and Characteristics


Trends in Chinese Mall Offerings

Wall Street Journal, Jan 2017
China Has Too Many Shopping Malls

CC’s summary:
In 2015, 3.7 million square meters of shopping space was under construction in Chongqing — more than anywhere else in the world (and 10x the retail construction in New York). It’s also a much greater shopping stock than what’s found in China’s four first-tier cities (eg: Beijing, Shanghai) — more than 2 square meters per urban consumer, compared with 0.5sq.m in the first-tier cities. This is a problem because new demand has not been as strong as anticipated (as shoppers leapfrog stores and go directly online). The retail vacancy rate has been rising in many Chinese cities. Some department stores are reporting sharp losses, with some closing in the past year. Some retail developers are including entertainment (hotels, aquariums, sports hubs with rock-climbing, ziplines, indoor surfing, ski slopes) as well as shopping in hopes of staying ahead.


Financial Times, November 2017
China’s high street finds growth alongside ecommerce


[Chinese] ]Mall operators have responded to the ecommerce onslaught by reducing space devoted to retail and increasing allocations for restaurants, cinemas and outlets offering extracurricular classes for children. Electronics retailers have added in-store experiences and reallocated floorspace for ecommerce distribution.

In 2016, Shanghai’s Joy City mall installed a gigantic Ferris wheel on its top floor to attract customers.

Gome, an electronics store which is Chinas second largest brick-and-mortar retailer by sales, has added experience-enhancing elements in stores, such as virtual reality zones. It’s offline sales grew 10.5% in the first half of the year.



buzz phrase in China’s retail sector, refers to retailers with large physical stores reinventing and transforming their business models and formats. Leveraging Internet, VR, AR etc to offer experience- and lifestyle-driven opportunities.

Cewebrities are people who become famous on the Internet. Leveraging the power of their fans and social media, many cewebrities, especially fashion cewebrities, have set up online stores to sell fashion items. Some have even launched their own brands.

The rural online retail market has become a new growth engine with the near saturation of the urban online market. Rural consumers prefer shopping online because of the less developed retail infrastructure in rural areas. … Recognizing the ample growth potential of the rural e-commerce market, increasing numbers of leading retailers and e-commerce players have adopted various “going rural” strategies. For instance, Alibaba has introduced a partnership program in rural areas. Some 20,000 partners were recruited to teach and help rural residents buy online. At the same time, JD.com has made substantial investment in rural areas to expand “last-mile” delivery capabilities; for example, it has tested drone delivery services in some remote rural areas

Fung Business Intelligence, March 2017
Spotlight on China Retail

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Posted by cc on at 10:43 pm | comment count

Charts: Monotheism, Retail, Urbanity, Home Size


Make extrapolated charts for the following:
   Monotheism vs. Other & non-affiliated
   Ecommerce vs. Physical retail sales
   Global urban population
   Average house size


Extrapolate: Monotheism vs. other & non-affiliated



In this chart, Christians, Muslims, and Jewish adherents are grouped in the Monotheistic adherents category. The red line includes the religiously unaffiliated, Buddhists, Hindus, followers of folk religions, and other religious adherents. Additional methodology on how Pew defined religious groups is available here.

Data for extrapolation (percentage of US population)

Monotheistic religions
   Christians 78.3
   Jews 1.8
   Muslims 0.9
   Unaffiliated 16.4
   Buddhists 1.2
   Folk Relions 0.2
   Hindus 0.6
   Other Religions 0.6

Monotheistic religions
   Christians 75.5
   Jews 1.7
   Muslims 1.1
   Unaffiliated 18.6
   Buddhists 1.2
   Folk Relions less than 1
   Hindus less than 1
   Other Religions less than 1

Monotheistic religions
   Christians 72.2
   Jews 1.6
   Muslims 1.4
   Unaffiliated 21.2
   Buddhists 1.3
   Folk Relions less than 1
   Hindus less than 1
   Other Religions 1.1

Monotheistic religions
   Christians 69.1
   Jews 1.5
   Muslims 1.8
   Unaffiliated 23.6
   Buddhists 1.4
   Folk Relions less than 1
   Hindus 1.1
   Other Religions 1.3

Monotheistic religions
   Christians 66.4%
   Jews 1.4
   Muslims 2.1
   Unaffiliated 25.6
   Buddhists 1.4
   Folk Relions 0.5
   Hindus 1.2
   Other Religions 1.5

Pew Research Center. April 2, 2015.
“The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050.”
US Decadal data

NOTE: Figures for the “less than 1%” values are available for 2010 and 2050 (but not the intervening decades) in the full report
Table: Religious Composition by Country, 2010 and 2050, p.244


Extrapolate: Ecommerce Retail



U.S. Bureau of the Census, E-Commerce Retail Sales as a Percent of Total Sales [ECOMPCTSA], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; February 28, 2018.

Frequency: Annual
FRED Graph Observations
Federal Reserve Economic Data


Extrapolate: Urbanization


United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2014). World Urbanization Prospects: The 2014 Revision, custom data acquired via website.

From the FAQ
How do we define “urban”?
We do not use our own definition of “urban” population but follow the definition that is used in each country. The definitions are generally those used by national statistical offices in carrying out the latest available census. When the definition used in the latest census was not the same as in previous censuses, the data were adjusted whenever possible so as to maintain consistency. In cases where adjustments were made, that information is included in the sources listed online. United Nations estimates and projections are based, to the extent possible, on actual enumerations. In some cases, however, it was necessary to incorporate other estimates of urban population size. When that is done, the sources of data indicate it.


Extrapolate: Home Size

Kevin, the following paper on US housing stock and floor space is very good. I’ll excerpt generously from it, but you may like to review the original article, “120 Years of U.S. Residential Housing Stock and Floor Space.”




Excerpted Discussion:
Fig 7 shows the estimated aggregated floor space average over the 120-year period, for each building type, calculated as the ratio of the two estimated time–series, total U.S. floor space and housing stock. Average floor space per unit remained approximately constant throughout the period. A slight ‘dip’ occurred in the 1940–2000 period, but the average returned to pre-1940’s values in the 2000’s, and so floor space per unit averages played a relatively minor role in overall floor space evolution over the very long term.


Excerpted Discussion:
The number of U.S. homes and their associated total floor space have risen dramatically over the last century. From the end of the 19th to the mid-20th century, a net average of half a million homes was added annually to the country’s stock, corresponding to over 850 million square feet added annually. In the last half century, the net average of homes added annually doubled to one million, which led to a tripling of floor space growth, with 2,700 million square feet added annually, with new construction far exceeding retirements. Over the 1891–2010 period, floor space increased almost tenfold, which corresponds to a doubling of floor space per capita (from approximately 400 to 800 square feet (Fig G in S6 File).

Excerpted Conclusion:
Our results show that over the last 120 years floor space and housing stock in the U.S. increased approximately tenfold, while population increased approximately fivefold and household size decreased by a dramatic 50%. Average floor space has remained approximately constant. But can these long-term trends be expected to continue into the future? The interplay between the evolution of population, household size, average floor space growth, as well as other factors, such as the construction rate of single-family homes and the retirement of older smaller vintages, could become significant in future dynamics.

In order to look ahead, it is important to distinguish between short-and long-term trends. The 2008 housing crisis is a recent event from which the housing market is still recovering, so trends in the last decade may not be representative of future developments. Taking the last 30 years into account, however, allows for a better insight into the near future. It is particularly instructive to examine the two factors that have evolved differently over the last three decades, compared to their previous evolution, namely household size and average floor space.

Decreasing household size is a trend with roots in a combination of factors: increased national income, increased mobility, demographic factors such as the aging of the population and the proportion of young adults who are potential homebuyers, and cultural factors such as changing family structures (ex. the increase of the median age at first marriage, family size and the overall decline in the number of married adults, [24]. These factors could contribute to a further long-term decrease of household size, but compared to the decrease in household size since the late 19thC, household size in the U.S. has been decreasing at a slower pace since the 1980’s. In 2007–2010 there was a slight increase from 2.31 to 2.34 persons per household (Fig 6, top), which could either be immediate consequence of the housing crisis, or could indicate a more fundamental change in the long-term trends. A slow economic recovery, with still relatively high unemployment, a rising student debt and the difficulty of obtaining mortgage credits, are all factors that may contribute to a slower decrease or an increase in household size, as young adults are less able to move out of their parents’ homes [25].

In the last 30 years floor space averages have been increasing, as older post-1940 vintages consisting of smaller units, such as those built in the post-war “baby boom” years progressively retire, while larger units are added to the stock. New single family homes built in the first decade of the 21st century averaged 2,673 square feet, while those built in the 1980’s averaged 2,162 square feet (see Table 1). The overall average floor space for units of all building types increased by 13% in the last 30 years, reaching almost 1,800 square feet per unit in 2010 (see Fig 9).

These two factors–household size and floor space averages—have the potential to drive floor space in opposite directions. The observed increase in average floor space is a clear trend, which might only be attenuated if the rate of construction of single-family homes or retirement of older units also slows down. On the other hand, if the tendency for household size to decrease more slowly or increase is indeed a new trend, then both the number of housing units and floor space might accompany population growth more closely than has been the case in the past.

Maria Cecilia P. Moura, Steven J. Smith, David B. Belzer. August 2015.
120 Years of U.S. Residential Housing Stock and Floor Space.” PLOS ONE

Note: Figure G (floorspace per capita) is from the supporting document:
S6 File. Results: Floor space time-series.

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Posted by cc on March 2, 2018 at 10:47 pm | comment count

Luker on e/sports


Expert Perspective:
Recent talks/interviews with Rich Luker (ESPN Sports Poll, Luker on Trends)


State of Sports for Gen Z Kids: Building Lifelong Affection in a Hyper-Competitive Market

Generation Z kids are bombarded by a tsunami of highly accessible and enticing alternatives to sports each day. What effect will this have on the long-term outlook for the professional sports industry? How can the sports industry adapt to this reality in a manner that builds a relationship TODAY so that kids will be engaged with sports tomorrow?
Rich Luker, the Founder of the ESPN Sports Poll, and Terence Burke, SVP of Research and Editor-in-Chief of KidSay’s Trend Tracker report, will describe a new alliance of the two groups and present the first, ever, “State of Sports for Generation Z” convergenceing kids from 5-17.

From Pokemon Go to Esports: Lessons and Opportunities

At the 2017 Project Play Summit, experts weigh in on how to assure more free play for kids through technology. What lessons can be learned from the popularity of Pokemon Go and esports? Moderating the session is Jeremy Goldberg, President, LeagueApps. Panelists are Angela Ruggiero, Co-Founder/Managing Director, Sports Innovation Lab; Chris Kluwe, Former NFL Punter; Vikram Grover, Senior Director of Business Development, Niantic; and Rich Luker, Founder, Luker on Trends.

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Posted by cc on February 23, 2018 at 9:33 pm | comment count

Esports industry evolution


Qualitative Discussion:
Evolution of esports


Gamelab Barcelona 2017 – Mike Sepso – Shaping eSports right
Mike Sepso is Senior Vice President of Activision Blizzard where he runs Media Networks, a division devoted to creating the best esports experiences for fans across games, platforms and geographies. Prior to joining Activision Blizzard, Mike was the co-founder and president of Major League Gaming (MLG), a global leader in esports, focusing on strategy, key partnerships, corporate development and overseeing all product and technology development, including the launch of MLG.TV. In his conversation with Dot Esports journalist Thiemo Bräutigan, Mike goes through Activision Blizzard’s Esports strategy for the comming years, and comments on the latest news around the Overwatch Global League.

“Esports: Big Buzz or Big Business?”
Hashtag Sports, June 2017
Leading executives from the world of sports business, consumer brands, media and technology engage in a lively debate on whether the industry will deliver on its $1bn promise or, as some predict, will prove to be a false dawn for the sector and its investors. A panel of experts will discuss how the emergence of eSports as a global mainstream phenomenon is driving their own strategies, be it as a marketing vehicle or an investment prospect, while also dissecting the argument of those who doubt the long-term commercial value of the eSports ecosystem.

“Booming business of esports sets sights on conquering mainstream audiences”
VentureBeat, February 12, 2018

“League of Lawyers: Esports is creating a new class of white-collar jobs”
VentureBeat, February 6, 2018

“The Esports Playbook”
Nielsen launched an Esports division in August 2017. Their inaugural audience report includes a final chapter called “What’s Next” which talks about the future of esports on linear TV, as well as the future for VR/AR esports.

“The who, what and why of the World Esports Association”
Polygon, May 2016
Discussion of the formation of the World Esports Association, a league representing competitions organized by ESL (a tournament organizer), and focused only on one game (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive) at the time of launch. One of the goals of the organization is to further professionalized esports by introducing player representation, standardized regulations, and revenue sharing for teams.

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Number of pro gamers vs. pro athletes


How Many:
Professional esports players (pro gamers)
Contrast with BLS data for professional athletes



The esports players figures above do not reflect the newly developing esports leagues, of which there are at least 3:
Overwatch League (OWL) – 12 teams with 6-12 players per team
NBA 2K League – 17 teams with 6 players per team
eMLS – 19 teams (details are thin, more forthcoming)

OWL, which is being launched by game publisher Blizzard, will pay a minimum salary of $50,000 per year, with players signing up for one-year contracts at a time. On top of the base wage, players will get a share of any bonuses the team accures. Half of all tournament prize money secured by a team will be shared between the players. Teams can have between six and 12 players…There are currently seven teams in the Overwatch League, drawn from cities across the US, along with a pair of teams from South Korea and China.

TechRadar, July 2017
“Want to be a pro gamer? This is what you could earn playing Overwatch”

More info on the owners and affiliated cities is reported by Engadget.

The NBA is partnering with the developer of the NBA2K game franchise to create an esports league, which will be called “NBA 2K eLeague.” According to the NBA, each of its 30 teams will eventually have its own eSports squad, just as they’re represented in the WNBA or the lower-tier D-League. Every 2K eLeague team will be made up of five human players, which the NBA plans to treat the same way it does athletes who play for the San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks or any of its other NBA, WNBA or D-League clubs. There will be contracts and endorsement deals at stake, for instance. The main difference here is that there’s room for more diversity, since these pro players can be of any age, gender or race to play on the same court — even if it is a virtual one.

Engadget, Feb 2017
“In the NBA’s eSports league, diversity means a new kind of athlete”

The NBA 2K League Qualifier took place in January, 2017.
An 85-person draft was created.
17 teams will be created at first.
Competitive salaries and benefits, plus additional options for more earnings

Forbes, Dec 2017
“NBA 2K League: How To Qualify, Salary Info, Draft Process, Twitter Account, Rules And More”


Even before the three leagues described above launched, there have been very popular esports teams with some team members earning their livlihoods through tournament earnings, streaming income, and other play-related earnings (eg: team salaries and room and board).

Neilsen ranks the 7 most popular esports teams in the US as: Cloud9
Optic Gaming
Team Liquid
SK Gaming
Counter Logic Gaming
Ninjas in Pyjamas

Nielsen, 2017.
The Esports Playbook

As an example, Cloud9 fields teams for 11 games. As of the time of publication for this blog entry, their 11 teams include 12 American players, as well as 6 American staff members (eg: coaches).
League of Legends: 7 American players, 2 American staff
Counter-Strike:Global Offensive: 5 American players, 3 American staff
Hearthstone: 1 American staff


Here’s a bit of general commentary from Sports Illustrated:

The current state of professional gaming mirrors the beginning days of the NFL and NBA. In those league’s inchoate stages, players often had to work other jobs to supplement their seasonal salaries. Even today, some professional athletes—like pro lacrosse players—hold other jobs to bolster their income. The same is true for most professional gamers.

Still, 18 gamers made more than $500,000 in esports prize money alone last year, and 195 made more than $100,000. Similar to professional golfers and tennis players, prize money makes up only a portion of the top gamers’ yearly income. Some are paid salaries by their teams, and many parlay massive followings built from live-streaming their gaming sessions into sponsorships with game equipment and manufacturing companies.

The number of full-time professional gamers is, as of right now, modest. But if esports stays on its path toward mainstream appeal and the sponsorship and TV dollars continue to flow in, it won’t be long before dozens of gamers are making more than $1 million every year. In 2017, we’ll take a step closer to that reality.

Sports Illustrated, Feb 2017
“What to expect from the booming esports industry in 2017″


Here’s commentary from 2013 on the number of pro gamers:

Being able to subsist solely on a pro gaming salary is a lofty dream indeed. “Business Insider” and e-Sports Earnings reported that only 60 professional gamers worldwide have earned more than $100,000 in prize money, as of 2013. Speaking to “The New York Times” in 2012, Sundance Giovanni of Major League Gaming estimates that “only about 40 people in the U.S. can make a living playing video games. I’d like to get it to a hundred. I think we’re a year or two away from that.”

Chron, 2013, citing NYT (inferred via archive.org)
“Salaries of Pro Gamers”


Here’s a bit of a profile of a pro gamer:

There’s a reason why eAthletes are so competitive—their job is easy to lose. As fun as the perks might sound, for Towey, Evil Geniuses, and hundreds of other pro gamers, the eSports life is a grind, not some glamorous dream job. Tournaments aren’t always enough to pay the bills—especially if you don’t win. That’s a big reason that some eAthletes, such as Ryan “State” Visbeck, use streaming to pay the bills.

Visbeck is a 23-year-old professional player of StarCraft II, a strategy game in which players control whole armies rather than controlling a single character as one would in Halo. As a “freelance” pro player—one who isn’t currently tied to a particular pro team—Visbeck spends his days broadcasting his StarCraft II games on streaming service Twitch. The service allows fans to watch Visbeck’s games live as he plays them, and also includes a chat function so they can interact with one another and the pro himself. Visbeck earns money through Twitch streaming subscriptions, which give viewers perks like special chat icons and access to his slate of recorded videos, as well as fan donations. It’s enough to support him as he lives in South Korea, where StarCraft has been extremely popular for more than a decade. Originally from California, Visbeck moved abroad to train with a pro StarCraft team in 2013 and has lived there ever since.

ComPlex, Aug 2016
“eSports Ain’t Easy: Inside the Everyday Grind of Pro Gaming”

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Ticket prices for conventional sports and esports


Extrapolate NFL ticket prices (and other major sports ticket prices)

Contrast with Esports ticket prices


Note: This is all historic data. Some of this could be extrapolated, but we’d need to estimate some data values.


Average Ticket Price 2003-2012 for MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL


src: someone using Team Market Report data


Ticket prices for traditional championship games 2011-2018


VividSeats, February 2017


Avg NFL ticket prices 2006-2016


Statista citing Team Marketing Report


Fan Cost Index 1991-2016

Fan Cost Index includes:
Two adult average price tickets
Two child average price tickets
Four small soft drinks
Two small beers
Four hot dogs
Two programs
Two adult-size caps


Interactive version here

Russell Scibetti, The Business of Sports, Feb 2017
using data from Team Marketing Report

Note: Scibetti also points to another source for aggregated sports business data, by Rodney Fort, Professor of Sport Management at the University of Michigan.


Here is a sample of recent ticket prices for major esports tournaments:

2016 League of Legends semifinals
New York, Madison Square Garden

2016 League of Legends Championship Series
Los Angeles, Staples Center

2017 League of Legends semifinals
Shanghai, Shanghai Oriental Sports Center
$26-$70 (limited number of international tickets)

2017 League of Legends Finals
Beijing, Beijing National Stadium (Bird’s Nest)

2018 North American League of Legends Championship Series – Spring Finals
two day event
Miami, The Fillmore Miami
$35-$65 for one day
$65-$110 for two days

2017 The International Dota 2 Championship
Seattle, KeyArena
$100-$200/ticket (multi-day event)

2017 Hearthstone Championship Tour’s Summer Championship
Blizzard Arena Los Angeles (450 capacity)
$15 single day
$40 full weekend

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