Get Active in Our Amazing Community of Over 450,000 Peers!

Schedule mock interviews on the Meeting Board, join the latest community discussions in our Consulting Q&A and find like-minded Case Partners to connect and practice with!

Estimate the number of weddings per year - approach problems

Mkt sizing
New answer on Sep 29, 2020
1 Answer
2.5 k Views
Nicola asked on Sep 29, 2020

Today, my case partner asked me to estimate the number of weddings per year in a given country. Let's arrive to the core of the case in simplified terms. After dividing the population in four age sections, we came up with this situation:

0-20: 0 weddings

21-40: 200 weddings

41-60: 100 weddings

61-80: 20 weddings

Now, in this given population we have 320 potential weddings. I was going to divide 320 weddings by 60 years, but my case partner stopped me and told me that I had to divide by 20 years (200/20 + 100/20 + 20/20 or 320/20).

The two approach are not equivalent, hence one is wrong. Which one and why?

PS: If dividing by 20 years is correct, I have another doubt. Let's say that we approach the case differently and we segment the population in only one big age cluster (21-80). Now, in order to have the same number of weddings per year (320/20 = 16), the number of potential wedding in the same population should be 16*60 = 960. For this reason, I suspect that dividing by 20 is not the correct option.

Many thanks for the effort!


Overview of answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Anonymous replied on Sep 29, 2020

Tbh I am not convinced this approach works at all - at least it is very unintuitive. It starts with the number of weddings per age bracket. The way you set up the calculation (deviding by size of the bracket later on), this seems to be an absolute number, not one per time interval (e.g. per year).

But this doesn't make sense, because an absolute definition doesn't seem to make sense. The population in each age bracket changes year on year, so whatever you're calculating is at least highly unintuitive.

In addition, splitting this into age groups introduces unnecessary complication, as you don't care when people marry, only if they marry throughout their lifetime.

A much simpler approach could be to calculate annual birth rate (e.g. total population devided by life expectancy). Then you can estimate the number of weddings per person (probably slightly above 1). Multiplying the number of births per year with the number of weddings in a life time and devided by 2 (takes two persons to marry once), should give you the number of weddings per year.

Was this answer helpful?
Nicola on Sep 29, 2020

Hi Henning! Thank you for the explanation. That's true, your approach is much simpler. However, isn't an overestimation not to exclude people belonging to the 0-18 age group? I would have used a shorter time frame than life expectancy (e.g. 60 years, approx. the 18-80 range), is that an error? Anyway, the approach I described above was incomplete. I did not start the case by estimating the number of weddings per age bracket. My starting assumption was that only a fraction of the population actually get married in their lifetime and most of them get married when they are in the 21-40 age bracket. So, I divided into age groups to estimate how many people marry in their lifetime within a given population. I divided the total number of people that marry by 2, to calculate the number of weddings. Finally, I divided the total number of weddings by 60 years, assuming that are equally distributed over time.

Anonymous on Sep 29, 2020

Interesting point - thanks for calling me out on this! My approach implicitly assumes that the population is stable. The not-yet in marrying age population only matters if there was a recent increase in birth rate (in the last 18 years). If birth rate is not constant, you should indeed take the birth rate as of [average age at wedding] years ago. I'd still go without the age brackets. This is a good approach when the age actually drives something like consumption behavior. But since the age doesn't matter for the overall consumption here, I'd leave it out to make the case simpler.

Nicola on Sep 29, 2020

Thank you very much for the explanation, really clear!

How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or fellow student?
0 = Not likely
10 = Very likely