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.



In a collaborative effort, United Ways in several states (and more on the way) are changing the way we think about financial need in their state and across the country.

Through a series of new, standardized measurements, each state’s ALICE Report presents a broad picture of financial insecurity at the county and municipal level. What we found was startling – the size of the workforce in each state that is struggling financially is much higher than traditional federal poverty guidelines suggest. United For ALICE is a grassroots movement stimulating a fresh, nonpartisan national dialogue about how to reverse the trend and improve conditions for this growing population of families living paycheck to paycheck.

Click on the links below to explore the data for each of our participating states.

The Impact of
Stimulus Payments

Benefits of
Sufficient Income

Financial Hardship
in Black Families

Consequences of
Insufficient Income


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 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.