ALICE

Who is ALICE?

ALICE is an acronym that stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. ALICE represents the households with income above the Federal Poverty Level but below the basic cost of living. The ALICE Report provides current research-based data that quantifies who in Wisconsin is living on the edge of financial insecurity. United Way will use the ALICE study which contains state, county and municipal level data to raise awareness in order to create lasting changes implemented to improve lives and strengthen local communities.

ALICE is striving for financial stability but faces complex barriers. Solutions will take a multi-faceted approach from private and public sectors, as well as the community as a whole. United Ways throughout Wisconsin recognize we need to go beyond singular or temporary fixes to create lasting change through a focus on the building blocks of a quality life: education, income, and health. In the end, helping ALICE will benefit us all. We all have an interest in improving conditions for ALICE – their everyday struggles reach beyond personal trials to impact the wider community. 

Why ALICE Matters

ALICE workers are essential to the fabric of our society. ALICE works in jobs that are integral to our communities, from child care educators and home health aides to mechanics – all workers we rely on every day.

The future success of our communities is directly tied to the financial stability of ALICE households. When ALICE suffers and is forced to make difficult choices, we all face serious consequences.

Core Report Statistics

  • By comparing real incomes with real expenses, the United Way ALICE Project reveals this stark reality: 42% of Wisconsin households are living on the edge of financial insecurity.
  • In Wisconsin, 42% of households live below the ALICE threshold – about 13% live below the poverty level and another 29% are above poverty but below the basic cost of living.
  • ALICE households are working, but struggle to afford the basics of housing, food, health care, child care, and transportation.
  • There are nearly 670,922 ALICE households in Wisconsin, more than double the official poverty rate. Together, with those in poverty, there are nearly 960,131 households unable to make ends meet in Wisconsin.
  • More than two-thirds of Wisconsin's municipalities have more than 30 percent of households unable to afford life’s basic necessities.
  • Despite working and receiving financial supports, ALICE still faces a 21% gap in the income needed to be able to survive and afford the basics in Wisconsin.

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Success Story

© 2017 United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County
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