Key Terms

Household Survival Budget: The bare-minimum costs of basic necessities (housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, and a smartphone plan).

ALICE Threshold: The average income needed to afford the Household Survival Budget. Households below the ALICE Threshold include both ALICE and poverty-level households.

ALICE: Households with income above the Federal Poverty Level but below the basic cost of living.

Poverty: Households earning below the Federal Poverty Level

Total Households: The number of households as reported by the American Community Survey.

Research Center

Special Topics

United For ALICE’s Special Topics Reports, Fact Sheets, and Tools present new data on specific aspects of what ALICE households experience every day. What are the consequences when families constantly face impossible choices like whether to pay for medications or put food on the table? How are Black households particularly vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic? How much do wages and cost of living vary in different areas of the country? These resources offer data to help communities recognize ALICE households, understand their biggest challenges, and create positive change for ALICE.

The Impact of
Stimulus Payments

Benefits of
Sufficient Income

Financial Hardship
in Black Families

Consequences of
Insufficient Income


COVID-19 and ALICE

The rapid spread of COVID-19 has exposed critical shortcomings in our economy and in our systems of health care and education. In the midst of this crisis, the ALICE measures show how profoundly the nation's most vulnerable households are being affected.



ALICE Legislative Tool

While the Federal Poverty Level is the basis for many public programs, looking at poverty alone excludes the 35 million households in the U.S. who are ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed), earning above the poverty level but below the basic cost of living in their communities.



ALICE Wage Tool

While cost of living varies considerably by geography, a family's ability to afford household expenses also depends on how much they have an opportunity to earn. The ALICE Wage Tool provides insight into how different wage levels impact an ALICE household's ability to afford a bare-bones survival budget.