Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed
Across Wisconsin, many households struggle to afford the basic necessities of housing, child care, health care, food and transportation. Asset, Limited, Income, Constrained, Employed (ALICE) individuals and families struggle economically but do not fall below the federal poverty line.
2023 United Way ALICE Report
The United Way ALICE Project is a nationwide effort to quantify and describe the number of households that are struggling financially.
The United Way ALICE Reports use standardized measurements to calculate the cost of a bare-bones household budget in each county in each state and to quantify the number of households that cannot afford even that. It is an alternative measure to the outdated Federal Poverty Level, which grossly underestimates the number of struggling families.
ALICE and COVID-19
The 2023 ALICE Report uses data from 2021 to expose the realities of people living below the ALICE threshold during the COVID-19 pandemic. The State of Wisconsin saw a slight increase in the number of ALICE households during the pandemic. In 2019, 32 percent of Wisconsin households were categorized as ALICE compared to 34 percent of Wisconsin households in 2021. In Racine County, the number of ALICE households actually decreased slightly from 27,452 households in 2019 to 27,290 in 2021. The slight decrease in Racine County may reflect the addition of temporary supports offered during the pandemic. However, as some benefits are peeled back, and inflation persists, signs of greater financial stress could be on the horizon.
- 34 percent of Wisconsin households were living on the edge of financial insecurity in 2021. Of this number, 23 percent are ALICE and 11 percent are below the poverty level.
- 27,290 households in Racine County were unable to afford the basics in 2021. That calculation includes the 9,850 households in poverty as well as the 17,440 households in 2021 defined as ALICE.