Bill Gates: 'By 2035, There Will Be Almost No Poor Countries Left'

×
Bill Gates Makes Prediction of No Poor Countries by 2035

By

As snowy Davos becomes engulfed in the hustle and bustle of another World Economic Forum, Microsoft founder Bill Gates took the opportunity to deliver an upbeat message in his annual newsletter.

The 25-page report, written by Gates and his wife Melinda, who are co-chairs of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, argued that the world is a better place than it has even been before.

Gates predicted that by 2035, there would be almost no poor countries left in the world, using today's World Bank classification of low-income countries -- even after adjusting for inflation.

"Poor countries are not doomed to stay poor. Some of the so-called developing nations have already developed," he said in a his annual note, published on Tuesday.
Gates Letter
AP/Bebeto MatthewsBill Gates


"I am optimistic enough about this that I am willing to make a prediction. By 2035, there will be almost no poor countries left in the world."
Gates -- who remains a part-time chairman of Microsoft (MSFT) -- added that by this point in time, almost all countries will be "lower-middle income" or richer.

Countries will learn from their most productive neighbors and benefit from innovations like new vaccines, better seeds, and the digital revolution, he said.

"By almost any measure, the world is better than it has ever been. People are living longer, healthier lives. Extreme poverty rates have been cut in half in the past 25 years. Child mortality is plunging. Many nations that were aid recipients are now self-sufficient," he said.

Three Big Myths

Back for another year at Davos, Gates will take the stage on Friday to address myths about global development, and will challenge its most vocal critics.


The three biggest myths, according to Gates, are that poor countries are doomed to stay poor, that foreign aid is a big waste and that saving lives leads to overpopulation.

Using data from academics, the World Bank and the United Nations, he makes the opposite case -- arguing that the world is getting better.

"I understand why people might hold these negative views. This is what they see in the news. Bad news happens in dramatic events that are easy for reporters to cover," he said.

"Countries are getting richer, but it's hard to capture that on video. Health is improving, but there's no press conference for children who did not die of malaria."

(Read More: Don't trust the government? You're not alone)


According to the World Bank's preliminary estimates, the extreme poverty rate was halved between 1990 and 2010. This meant that 21 percent of people in the developing world lived on or below $1.25 a day, down from 43 percent in 1990 and 52 percent in 1981.

The World Bank last year set a goal of decreasing the global extreme poverty rate to no more than 3 percent by 2030.

Bill Gates is no stranger to the World Economic Forum. At last year's event, he outlined his concerns that austerity measures could hit public funding for deadly diseases like malaria, tuberculosis and HIV.

"The money that helps out the poorest overwhelmingly comes from government aid budgets", Gates told CNBC at last year's Davos, adding that it was unclear what kind of priority aid will have in future budgets.

More from CNBC:

More Videos from Davos


Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Introduction to Preferred Shares

Learn the difference between preferred and common shares.

View Course »

Banking Services 101

Understand your bank's services, and how to get the most from them

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

68 Comments

Filter by:
RouteUS66Busload

Not True, Mr. Gates. Since Jesus' days there were poor people and the bible mentions that there will always be poor people around. He will turn in his grave in 2035.

January 25 2014 at 4:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
alfredschrader

I wish there was something I could do to help Bill. His health is failing. His glasses have gained two diopters in thickness and the appearance of liver spots suggests a liver malfunction.
Maybe he should take a sabatical.

January 23 2014 at 4:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
onlyhonsety

there are yet so many homeless people that others ignore go to all the largest cities in all states and see for yourselves and also in large cities in other countries homeless people are ingnored there as well

January 23 2014 at 4:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
YourFtr

Gates can't seem to predict the future as Microsoft has a finger in every pie.......
ready to jump any which way as soon as the future reveals itself....
It's going to be mobile; no it's going to be cloud; no, it's going to be streaming; no, it's going to be 3D; no, it's going to be nano; no, it;s going to be......
oops; it's going to be world war III !!!

January 23 2014 at 2:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
YourFtr

Kinda ridiculous to say this; when the US has no jobs now;
unless Gates is intimating that the US won't be around in 2035.

January 23 2014 at 2:42 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
SPQR

What he meant to say was " There will be no more middle class in the US by 2035"

January 23 2014 at 12:24 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
patricknearbeer

there may not be any poor countries , but there will be plenty of poor people.

January 23 2014 at 12:06 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
DMcH

I just wish Bill Gates weren't giving so much money to bio-adgicultural farming techniques. The new 3rd world countries will soon be moving from one set of disease to a new modern world set of diseases. He has the power to do so much good but he is stuck in a big business mindset.

January 22 2014 at 11:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jimmy_branch

His Meds are obviously kicking into high gear - it's the stress of having to hold Microsoft stock for 35 years then finally being able to dump it when he is too old to enjoy his Billions. He an his partner Buffet hope to someday own the world so they need to make it as cheap as possible.

January 22 2014 at 11:51 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
SPQR

Yes the US will have spent all its money buying cheap crap from all over the world. Then they will have all our money and we will be sitting around doing nothing.

Start a victory garden this spring and you will be happy

January 22 2014 at 8:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply