There are a few different names for the industry: network marketing, multi-level marketing (MLM), direct selling, etc. Network marketing is probably the best descriptive title. But how big is the industry?
Big, really big.
In 2015 total worldwide sales topped $183 billion. Amazing. And that was an increase of over 30% from 2011. Not only is it a huge business. It continues to grow. In the US alone sales were $36.1 billion in 2015. Any individual only has to have a tiny, tiny slice of that pie to do well.
|Year||Global Sales ($billion)|
There were 103 million people involved in network marketing around the world in 2015. Compare that to the US Government (3.2 million) or Walmart (2.1 million) and you can see the sheer size of the industry. In the US in 2015 over 20 million people worked in network marketing – 8.3% of the adult population!
|Year||Global Workforce (million)||US Workforce (million)|
This was one the most consistent numbers – the split between men and women who work in network marketing:
|Year||% Women||% Men|
Yes, the women dominate. Consistently. Sort of surprising at first but when you think about the products categories that are the most popular (see below) it makes sense.
Here is how things stacked up in 2015 by region:
|Region||Sales ($ billion)||Workforce (million)|
Pretty amazing. Asia has some powerhouse direct selling companies – China, Japan, Korea, and Malaysia. In fact Malaysia is #9 in the entire world for total sales!
As you can imagine, almost everything can be sold in network marketing. And it is. Not surprising, the Wellness and Cosmetics/Personal Care categories are the largest. Here are the details:
|Product Cateory||% of Global Sales|
|Household Goods and Durables||0.114|
|Books, Toys, Stationary||0.019|
These numbers show the story. Network marketing is a huge profession – globally and in the US. If you are thinking about joining the industry you will be able to find the right program, the right products that fit your passion.
If you are interested in joining, check out our free checklist of the questions to ask. Do not go into it without knowing the facts. Click here for the free download.