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ALICE Reports: Working, but unable to afford basic necessities


United Way’s Study of Financial Hardship

Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed



United Ways in California, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, and New Jersey have developed reports providing a comprehensive picture of financial need in their state.  United Way, with its research partner Rutgers University, developed a series of new, standardized measurements that quantify the size of the workforce in each state that is struggling financially, and the reasons for why. These measurements provide a broader picture of financial insecurity than traditional federal poverty guidelines.

ALICE, which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed and represents the population of individuals and families who are working, but are unable to afford the basic necessities of housing, food, child care, health care, and transportation.  The United Way ALICE Reports provide county-by-county and town-level data on the state of financial instability among households.

This is a grassroots movement among United Ways to stimulate a fresh, nonpartisan national dialogue about the growing population of families living paycheck to paycheck.  This effort grew from a project first initiated in 2009 at United Way of Northern New Jersey.  Beginning this year, some 200 United Ways in these six states plan to use the reports as the framework for their work in improving their residents’ lives and strengthening their communities.

ALICE Websites, Reports and More

The Reports found that in each of the six states, at least 35 percent of households - more than one-third, a total of 13 million households - struggle to afford the basic cost of living.

Executive Summary: Six State Comparison

California – Coming Soon

New Jersey

New York




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