Our analysis of the CEX shows that the number of Americans living on less than $4 per day is effectively zero. Since 1980, the CEX has reported on the annual consumption expenditures of 222,170 households. Of these 222,170 cases, 175 reported spending less than $4 per person per day. That’s one household in 1,270.
Deaton’s claims of Third World poverty in the U.S. can also be rebutted by examining the actual living conditions of families with ostensible incomes below the deep-poverty level.
Rather than 1.7 percent of the population living in deep poverty, expenditure surveys show the figure is only 0.08 percent.