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Living in extreme poverty

Living in extreme poverty


Imagine what it’s like to live in extreme
poverty. You have to think about the basics like your
next meal all the time. An extremely poor family mostly has access
only to the food that they grow themselves. If you have a bad harvest, if one of your
animals get sick, you’re going to have a period where you’re
not getting enough food. Daughters in these families have to gather
water and wood. They have to cook dinners on an open fire
with lots of smoke, and then they have to clean everything up. If they get a chance to do schoolwork at all,
it’s going to be very late at night. They need a lamp, if they have it, to be able
to do that work. So, the upshot is, if you’re extremely poor, your time and energy really goes to mere survival. Is poverty inevitable? The answer is no. We asked 2,000 people what they thought was
going on with poverty. We told them the 1990 number and asked them
to guess where it had gone. And their guess was that it had fallen from
that 36 percent down to 22 percent. In fact, the real line is far, far better. It drops all the way down to 9 percent. That means since 1990, 1.2 billion people
have overcome extreme poverty. As the economist Max Roser has said, “The newspapers could have run a headline, ‘Number of People in Poverty Fell by 137,000
Since Yesterday,’ every single day for 25 years and been right.” Real news. According to the World Bank, this extreme poverty definition we use is
a cutoff of about a $1.90 per day or less. Getting out of extreme poverty is not the
end goal. We want people lifted up way beyond extreme
poverty. But it’s really the start that gets things
going, that gets countries on the way to self-sufficiency
and moving towards middle income. So, this is not just about the individuals, it’s also about the countries themselves. A single dot is representing a million people. Right now, you’re seeing the number of dots
that represent the number of people who overcame poverty since 1990. It’s really great to see how we made that
incredible reduction, because it hints, okay, what remains, what
do we have to do in the future. The progress came really in two great waves. The first wave was China. In 1990, 66 percent of people in China were
extremely poor. So, you can see all the dots there, each representing
again a million people. But over just a short period of 15 years, their extreme poverty declined by over 500
million. The improvement in people’s lives there is
one of the most astonishing examples of progress in world
history. The second wave came in India. Progress there started later and it’s been
more gradual, but it’s also an impressive trend. India went from 400 million people in extreme
poverty in 2005 to just under 100 million today. And over the next several decades, that number
is going to drop quite a bit. So, the question we face here is, can we create a third great wave of poverty
reduction in the rest of the world that will bring extreme poverty near to eradication? It’s not going to be easy. We can go back to our dots, again looking at each one representing a million
people. But now we’re going to look at the people
who remain in extreme poverty. So, starting back in 1990, we’re going to take all those dots and do a pie chart that gives us a sense of
what it looked like by region back in 1990. So, you can see sub-Saharan Africa, the blue part there, represented a relatively
small slice of extreme poverty in 1990. But because this has fallen so quickly in
East and South Asia, so we’re dropping the total number of people
a lot. But also, as we drop those numbers, you can see that that sub-Saharan slice,
the blue slice, is getting to be a very substantial part of
this pie. In fact, if we project this out to 2050, it’s
rather stunning. It’s a trend that I sort of was aware of, but even I was surprised when we ran these
numbers that it shows that almost 90 percent of the people remaining
in extreme poverty will be in sub-Saharan Africa by 2050. If we zoom in even more, and take it at the country level, we can see that there’s quite a variability
in the progress here. We see that a few countries represent a lot
of what remains, about a dozen here. In fact, if you just take the two countries
with the most people, which would be the Democratic Republic of
Congo and Nigeria, that alone will be 40 percent of the entire
world’s population in extreme poverty. And if we zoom even further in and look at
a map of Nigeria and say, okay, where inside Nigeria will you have this, based
on 2013 data, we can see that it’s not spread evenly. As you move towards the north, there’s far more poverty than in the south. And so, this gap that you’re seeing there
grows quite a bit over time. What this means is that this poverty is going
to be a feature of life in a few places. And these are places where there’re the
fewest opportunities. Often, in some of these places there’s violence,
a lack of stability. These are places where climate change will make these subsistence farmers’ lives
more difficult. Also, these are often places where the governance
is not providing the primary health care or education, even at a basic level. And every one of these places are exactly
where we’re experiencing rapid population growth. The geography of births in the world is changing, and this is something that’s really fascinating. Over the rest of this century, the number of babies born stays about the
same. We’ve really reached peak baby. But if we look at this chart, we can see that the places that they’re born
are changing. We’ve split it into a blue line, which is
babies born in sub-Saharan Africa every year, and the white line, which is the entire rest
of the world. And you can see you go from today, where by the end of the century up to where by the end of the century it’s almost getting up to the point where
half of the babies on the planet are born not just in sub-Saharan Africa but overwhelmingly in the poorest parts of
sub-Saharan Africa. So, the ten countries projected to be the
poorest in the world in 2050 currently are only 10 percent of the world’s births. By 2050 they’re 20 percent, and by 2100, using these UNFPA numbers, it
could get up to 40 percent. So, in short, babies are going to be born
in what are currently the toughest circumstances in the most challenging places in the world. They’ll be born in situations where they’ll at least start out spending
all their time as a family, as an individual, just seeking out the food
that they need and not have as much time to invest, invest in their education and invest in building
assets. So, we really need to address this. We need to double down on key investments
in these very tough places. The first two waves are also instructive in
terms of what these investments should look like. Let’s start with the investments in the people, primarily in their health and education. China set a great example here. In 1990, one in three Chinese children were
chronically malnourished, which means that not only physically but also
mentally they never fully developed, they did not achieve their potential. And the typical Chinese youth never got into
high school. Well, since then, China has solved that malnutrition
problem, and in education now, almost all students
not only graduate from high school, a very high percentage, almost half, attend
college. You just look at those cities in China and
you see, wow, something miraculous came out of those human capital investments. And so, to create this third wave of poverty
reduction, sub-Saharan Africa’s young need the same level
of investment in their human capital. Of course, the size of that investment is
going to be very large, because of this population growth, the doubling
in their youth population by 2050. In sub-Saharan Africa for this youthful generation
we need to get a lot of resources there and help those countries build these systems. Our partner, the Institute for Health Metrics
and Evaluation, did these poverty projections on the continent, considering a couple of scenarios where the
key thing we varied was the investment level in human capital. And so, the status quo shows that the absolute
number of people in extreme poverty will go up by about 50 million by 2050. That’s disappointing. Even more sobering, though, is if we look at what some donors have talked
about doing in terms of disengaging, we look at governments not continuing to improve, there you get a very dire situation where
the number almost doubles, it gets up to 672 million. But we also took a scenario, the one we believe in, the one we all want
to rally around, where we increase that human capital investment, where we improve those health systems and
those primary and secondary schools, and there we’re able to drive that extreme
poverty down by over 90 million from where we stand today. So, the gap between the bad scenario and the
good scenario is over a factor of two, almost 400 million
people. So that’s really what’s at stake. With the right innovation, which is the most
powerful force in the world, I really believe it’s possible, we might be
able to do even better than that. You know, a great example of this was what a discussion like this would have
been about India back in the 1960s. The yield for wheat, which was very, very
meager, was changed by modern technology and techniques, and now we’re at almost four times the productivity. That’s another innovation we need to bring
to Africa, but innovation can appear in many, many different
sectors. And so, we need some great innovations. Soil maps, how we can pick the right fertilizer,
digital technology to help us understand what’s going on with
malnutrition and help solve that. Education and how by getting reading resources
out there to kids, their natural curiosity will let them help
develop the key skills. And so, it’s by investing in this innovation and backing young innovators across sub-Saharan
Africa we can get a very positive scenario. I do remember what it was like to be rebellious
and have new ideas. I waited until my parents were asleep, and I snuck out of the house in the middle
of the night to go up and use a computer in the University
of Washington’s physics department. There were a few hours in the middle of the
night when the graduate students weren’t there, and I could have a few hours on this big,
amazing machine. I would do anything to get my hands on it and try out to see what the magic of software
could do. And that’s the kind of rebelliousness or new
thinking that I’m hoping we can tap into today. The natural desire of youth to change things
and make the world better. The world we want, a world in which every person can dream of
a better future and make it come true, is a world without extreme poverty. Thank you!

100 comments on “Living in extreme poverty

  1. Thank you. I am from Sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria, Katsina.
    Thank you for polio project. Good luck with malaria-eradication project.

  2. 2:29 I think you got the map of China wrong. 9 dashed-line is illegal. I think everyone just want to please China to make money off of them.

  3. Just remember that no one is done a favour if your help teaches them they can't help themselves. Create sustainable opportunities where people can work for a living instead of subsisting on hand-outs…

  4. It's great that we are taking more people out of poverty line. However, we should be concerned that this people with more money to spend, is turning our globe into a giant ball of pollution. More cars, more consumer products…there has to be a way we manage this energy consumption and pollution.

  5. African Problems need African Solutions. Not Western solutions. The Western has been promoting wars in Africa to get minerals back door, that build phones and chips. what if they paid taxes and took their help (UN) back to their countries.

  6. I admit that the title "living in extreme poverty" by Bill Gates grabbed by attention. Compared to Bill Gates, us mere millionaires live in extreme poverty!!

  7. And while you're at it Mr. Gates, why not help the multitudes of homeless in Seattle? Think about it. The extreme wealth of the tech billionaires there has driven housing costs so high that many working class people can't afford a simple apartment. Mr. Gates, you had nothing to do with creating the massive third world poverty. But the extreme wealth of you and other tech mega rich has contributed to the homelessness in your own backyard. Charity begins at home!!

  8. Hmm interesting argument at 10:18… Aren't the western powers kind of donating energy for services countries should provide themselves? What happened in China and India? Didn't they start to work for their citizens and made it better? What we meddling in Africa actually makes things worse for the law & order there?

  9. What the f is wrong with that China map? What the f-ing f? WHAT THE F???? Fighting poverty and trampling on human right and international law? Aren't we doing a great job, Mr Gates?

  10. The man of the World! Great inspiration ☀️ long life and huge respect ❤️. Each time you make me think “how I can contribute as an individual to make our world better?”

  11. Great insights, wish i could do more, i my self gets the previlege of going into uneversity although i didn't finihed it, but since the work force only promotes certified graduate students its been a hard way for me to get my self a descent jobs since sertification is such a big deal in my country..but what about the less fortunate? They survive solely through their own inovative instinct to earn for a living and this is sadening

  12. We need more people like him who investigates the problems. Would be nice to see experts together who explore historical succesful strategies, maybe setting up a masterplan to help those countries.

  13. China got millions of people out of poverty by changing their system to free market economy… world dont need fancy graphs and empy words to lift up people from poverty, just smart changes in the system and more freedom on the market…

  14. What's most common thing among poor people ?
    Having 3 or more than 3 children

    Stop having kids when your own life isn't in track

  15. Sorry, but it seems that it is a false prophecy, the world cannot be improved, Just the second coming of Christ and he ruling a 1000 years and the devil imprisoned will allow 1000 years of peace. But anyway we must strive to enter the kingdom of God and fight the good fight while we are in this world until Jesus return. Please preach the gospel to all the nations, and save the full number of the remnant of the gentiles that Israel may be reinserted again, then the end may will come.

  16. Love when the richest talks about the poverty and explain how it works. It’s like the maths teacher says to his pupils: “I don’t prove cause it’s obvious” while it’s not. Meh!

  17. They are measuring the poverty by the earning of people. But in the rate people's earning is growing is much less then the growing rate of prices of every things. So by growing only earning will not help. They should also take measures to keep the price of things as much less as possible.

  18. do you think the way the World wide answer should be to ease traditions! the "WE" you talk about, eases traditional tribes,.. the word Rape, has more disguised as poverty is owned by the rich,.. in many ways, including economical abuses,.. the known resources you mention, are based on who gets information and knowledge is the investment to allow the poverty to receded their activities! times haven't changed, somehow the resource being extracted are actually really stolen rather than legally produced by legal justices,.. the methods of economical efforts has to change,. if poverty is to be eradicated, egotistical assistance to believe assisting in this manner, only short term success,.. especially if the colonial concepts are in the way!

  19. Great presentation. Having traveled through much of Africa, I very much hope those countries can be lifted out of extreme poverty. I think the development of SMR's (Small Modular Reactors) which are small energy sources that can provide the locally generated electrical energy they need to provide clean water for agriculture and better health.

  20. Hi from Ecuador i like this video i would like to learn how to apply the innovation to my region. Kindly Sebastian.

  21. Why rich people suddenly thinking of the poor bcz they know the poor will destroy the rich after extreme level of poverty. By means of terrorist like scariest Pakistan also called as terroristan !
    Save Pakistan from terrorism first

  22. THE FUTURE OF THE WORLD.
    FOR WORLD HEGEMONY OF CHINA, CHINA MUST SUFFER TWO WORLD WAR. THE FIRST WAR IS THE WAR OF CHINA AND AMERICA IN 2026~2030 YEAR.THAT IS FIRST HINA WAR. AND IF CHINA WIN THE FIRST HINA WAR, AMERICA GO DISAPPEARED IN HUMAN-BEING HISTORY. AND THE SECOND HINA WAR IS THE WAR OF CHINA AND THE ALLEGED NATIONS OF FREEDOM AND JUSTICE. THE ALLEGED NATIONS IS,FOR EXAMPLE, RUSSIA.INDIA.VIETNAM.U.K(ENGLAND).MONGORIAN.KOREA.(E.T.C.).THE SECOND HINA WAR IS 2030~2040 YEAR. AND SO IF CHINA WIN TWO HINA WAR,CHINA HAS HEGEMONY OF THE WORLD.
    HISSOISM.

  23. A genuine well wisher of humanity
    Talking about the very cruel and basic problem of humans
    Without any religious secular or political agenda !
    Humanity is in dire need of such noble humans
    He deserves all our love and deep respect

  24. The key to raising (people/)countries out of extreme poverty (Or raise National wealth) is…

    1.) the ability to capture, utilize & turn Fresh Water into sellable market products, such as fruit/veg/meat, 🌳/lumber, hydropower, hydrogen(HHO), paint, etc.. (More water more wealth)

    2.) Green renewable energy systems..

  25. A very good work done by the richest person to benefit mankind. I simply appreciate his intelligent poverty analysis done to figure out where funds need to be pumped which would help alleviate poverty in a big way.

  26. You are an amazing man Mr Gates, Thank you for projecting India's growth in recent years , India has come a long way since the 90s , I hope we keep moving forward and fight against the extreme poverty around the world

  27. In Iraq, poor people increased day by day. The vulnerable women, youth and children have no opportunity for education and get a job.

  28. Sir, why do you put China's map with 9 dashes on a disputed territory between 6 countries? Is that you standing with the abuser?

  29. Anh em ri pót chết con mẹ thằng Biu gết này đi, nó để đường lưỡi bò của thằng tàu khựa đoạn 2:33 kìa. Dm có tưởng có ăn học đàng hoàng mà làm ăn như cc
    * Ko để tiếng anh đề phòng nó xoá bình luận

  30. At 2:38 of the video, the map is extremely wrong with the appearance of chinese nine dash line. Please correct it. Thank you

  31. Human capital that's word I have been using for long . Governments should always invest in human capital.
    India is a great example.

  32. 삶은 극빈에서 벗어났지만 마음이 극빈이라 더 힘이듭니다. 어떤 삶이 진정 행복한 것일까요………

  33. I can't do anything, my life is a failure, nobody helps me, Bill, if you want the only thing I can do to help is to kill myself and donate my organs, maybe at least I'd be useful for something!

  34. Thanks Bill so much for his efforts for uplifting poor people from poverty and alerting world leaders..he will be remembered through the ages ..

  35. I’m poor and want to end homelessness in California, and increase affordable housing, increase jobs that pay well above minimum wage, promote STEM and create STEM jobs, and increase scholarships for the marginalized, impoverished but bright students, increase computer access, food, water and nutrition for the hungry, eradicate diseases…The list goes on! Thank you for lending a voice to the poor, disadvantaged and less fortunate who want to challenge and beat the odds!
    Mr. Gates, can you visit us in school ( biotech )? That would be a dream come true!

  36. So are you donating money without any clauses or just giving bs talks Mr Gates? Oh look how poor they are, but Im not donating. That summed up his speech.

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