ALICE is your neighbor, and someone you interact with each day. ALICE is a critical part of our economy and a key factor in the health of our community. ALICE is an essential worker, including teachers, auto technicians, home health aides, and many other professionals who earn less than $20 per hour. ALICE households are those that earn too much to qualify for benefit programs, but not enough to pay for essential services. 

ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.

The ALICE Report helps us understand the economic pressure ALICE feels, by using four new measurements of economic circumstances, tuned to local conditions. These reports provide a much more accurate picture of the affected populations than many of the currently-used federal and state statistics. The report also balances the challenges faced by the costs of living in each community, as well as the income earned in common and vital occupations.

The largest demographic segment of ALICE households is comprised of workers in the prime earning years of 25-64, although seniors are more likely than others to be classified as ALICE households. Child care is often the most expensive item in the ALICE household budget.

You can download the PNW ALICE report here

Or learn more about the ALICE Project here


Summary of ALICE project to date and key indicators

The ALICE project began in a local UW in Northern New Jersey, which was then absorbed by the recently-formed United Way of Northern New Jersey. The original pilot was conducted in the states of California, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Michigan and New Jersey – representing 25% of the US population.

In each of the six states in 2012, 35% or more (total of 13 million households) are either ALICE households or in poverty. In California, the total is 46%. These include essential workers including teachers, auto technicians, home health aides, many professionals who earn less than $20 per hour.

The answers include continued support for short-term interventions to mitigate economic crises for households and long-term work on broader structural changes, particularly improving housing and economic opportunities.


Overview of our involvement

United Way of Benton & Lincoln Counties is a member of the United Ways of the Pacific Northwest (UWPNW), our local state association, which commissioned the ALICE reports for our three states.

ALICE is a very exciting opportunity for United Way of Benton & Lincoln Counties to provide timely and relevant data about urban and rural communities in our service area.

The ALICE report has, in other states, also provided a window into assessing populations ‘below’ the ALICE threshold and also ‘above.’ It provides robust data sets that will complement our existing data. The idea is “to advance the conversation, not change it.” Although the national ALICE project handles work around marketing and brand standards to make reports consistent and comparable across the nation, we will have the ability to do complementary work locally.

Data will come primarily from public sources, but a significant fraction will be developed on the recommendation of a regional research council developed and facilitated by UWPNW.