The following is an excerpt from Bill Gates and Melinda Gates | September 22, 2018 | Nytimes.com |
Do you think the number of poor people in the world has gone up or down in the past 25 years?
This question is an excellent conversation starter because practically everybody answers it incorrectly. Primed by depressing and shocking headlines, most people assume that poverty has increased. Some people say it has held steady. Almost none are aware that in fact, more than a billion people have overcome poverty just since the turn of the millennium.
This huge drop in the number of people living on less than $1.90 per day is among the most underappreciated and most important developments of our generation.
But it’s not guaranteed to continue. In fact, progress against poverty is in jeopardy. According to current projections, the number of people in extreme poverty will stagnate at over 500 million. In the worst-case scenario, it could even start going back up.
Why has the world arrived at this crossroads? The answer is the unfortunate intersection of two demographic trends.
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