Bill Gates Sees the World in These 4 Income Levels

Forget the terms 'developing' and 'developed' nations, he advises
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2018 3:39 PM CDT
Bill Gates Now Sees the World in 4 Categories
Philanthropist and co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation Bill Gates.   (Ian Langsdon, Pool via AP)

Bill Gates says he's done using the terms "developed" and "developing" to describe the nations of the world because they're too limiting. "It's hard to pick up on progress if you divide the world into rich and poor countries," he writes in a blog post.The Microsoft-founder-turned philanthropist says he is adopting a new view from late author Hans Rosling (Factfulness) that divides the world into four basic income groups. As it turns out, most people in the world live in Level 2, getting by on between $2 and $8 a day. Here are the four:

  • Level 1: This is extreme poverty, with people living on less than $2 a day. They probably walk in bare feet, sleep on dirt floors, must fetch their water, and cook over an open fire. About 1 billion are in this level.

  • Level 2: About 3 billion are in this category, surviving on between $2 and $8 a day. Life is typically a little easier with a gas stove, mattresses, a bike (perhaps to fetch water), and shoes. Children are able to go to school instead of working.
  • Level 3: In this category, people live on between $8 and $32 a day. Think running water, a refrigerator, maybe a motor bike. Kids might even be able to finish high school. About 2 billion are in this category.
  • Level 4: The rest of the world, about a billion people, spend $32 or more per day. They probably have a car, a high school education, and can take the occasional vacation.
Click for the full post. Business Insider notes that the World Bank uses a similar breakdown of categories. (Read more Bill Gates stories.)

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