Bill Gates announced today that by 2035 there will be almost no poor countries left in the world.
Gates, the world's richest man with a fortune of $78.5billion, used his annual letter from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Tuesday to criticize the belief that extreme poverty and disease are unsolvable, calling it a 'harmful' opinion.
The Microsoft tycoon, 58, dispels the 'three myths' which he claims hold back developing countries - that poverty is an endless cycle, foreign aid is a waste and saving lives leads to overpopulation.
He writes: '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. (I mean by our current definition of poor.)
'Almost all countries will be what we now call lower-middle income or richer.'
Gates said around 70 per cent of countries will have a higher per-person income by 2035 than China does now. Nine out of ten countries will be above today's average income levels in India in two decades time, the tech mogul also claims.
However he admits that some countries will be held back by war and politics, citing North Korea as an example. Geography will also hinder certain nations like the landlocked states of central Africa.
Despite his optimistic take on the world, Gates admits that inequality will exist in every region.
The tycoon bases his theory on statistical data which shows that in 1960, income per person in the U.S. was roughly $15,000.
By comparison, 50 years ago the average income in Brazil was $1,982, China $928 and Botswana $383.
Today, China's income per person has increase by eightfold and India's has quadrupled; Brazil's has gone up five times and Botswana has seen an incredible 30-fold increase in earnings.
The Gates report points out that although the percentage of very poor people has dropped by more than half since 1990, there is still one billion people existing in extreme poverty.
With a lot of work still to do, Gates nevertheless says that there are improvements for people across the world which are undeniable.
He writes: 'There is a class of nations in the middle that barely existed 50 years ago, and it includes more than half of the world’s population.'
Bill Gates has donated $28 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which funds projects across the world in agriculture, education and health.
The foundation is committed to improving the lives of people in Third World countries.
For example, across Africa, the Gates' foundation provides vaccine delivery and treatments for HIV, malaria and polio along with family planning and agricultural development.
According to a report by Oxfam this week, Gates and the other 84 richest people in the world now have as much money as the 3.5billion poorest put together.
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