The article aims to signal current developments of some controversial indicators on social and economic development at global, European and national level, that will decisively affect the living standard of the population in the immediate and long-term future. Some of those evolutions seem inevitable, so we have to prepare to meet them. Others can still be influenced by some economic and social policies. In this regard, we mention the demographic context, the migration phenomenon, the labor force, or some key indicators of economic development. The standard of living is revealed by analyzing the relationship between income levels and household expenditure, and by presenting recent realities on the phenomenon of poverty. Some forecasts are also specified for the next 2-3 decades. Data from Romanian socio-economic statistics, Eurostat data and data from global expertise such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund or the UN are used.