The World Bank and other global institutions use a very specific measure to record global poverty rates. They gather data designed to record the number of people in a country who live on less than $2 a day, and then use the information to make a “poverty headcount ratio”— the percentage of people in a country who live under this standard. In most recent data, Sierra Leone, for example, had a staggering 82.5% of its citizens living in poverty  by this count.
What is less known is that millions of Americans are living in situations of similar poverty. A new book , $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, explores the status of Americans who face this extreme level of poverty