About the ALICE Report
Core Report Statistics
- By comparing real incomes with real expenses, the United Way ALICE Project reveals this stark reality: nearly 38% of Wisconsin households are living on the edge of financial insecurity.
- In Wisconsin, 38% of households live below the ALICE threshold – about 12% live below the poverty level and another 26% 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 600,626 ALICE households in Wisconsin, more than double the official poverty rate. Together, with those in poverty, there are nearly 872,561 households unable to make ends meet in Wisconsin.
- Sixty-two percent of Wisconsin jobs pay less than $20 an hour, making it tough to afford the annual budget needed for a single adult ($20,000+) and a family of four ($60,000+).
- Wisconsin’s minimum household survival budget increased by 18% for a family of four and 24% for a single adult between 2010 and 2016, despite just 9% inflation nationally.
- Nearly one third of Wisconsin families with children have income below the ALICE Threshold.
- At least 51% of Wisconsin households do not have enough money saved to cover expenses for three months, let alone enough to save for emergencies or future use.
What the ALICE Report is not:
- Simply an income problem.
- A political position, but rather a body of data that helps us understand the economic realities of this population.
- A stance on raising the minimum wage. This alone would not help ALICE rise above challenging circumstances.
- A finger pointing – or finger wagging – to Wisconsin’s businesses. The engine of local economics knows that in order for their business to thrive, their community has to as well.
- An “us” or “them” report but an illumination of daily financial struggles many of us face – including those who fall below the poverty line. United Way is invested in improving the community – and that means all members of the community. While there are different tactics for different needs, United Way focuses on strategies that fight for the education, financial stability and health of everyone in every community – the building blocks of a stable life.
How can United Ways and others use the ALICE Report?
- Wisconsin’s United Ways are using the ALICE report to educate, engage the community in developing strategies to lift ALICE to financial stability and begin a dialogue about strategies for long-term systemic change.
- We invite all to join us to fight for education, financial stability and health of everyone in every community – the building blocks of a stable life. You can:
- Host community conversations with corporations, faith-based organizations, government entities and concerned citizens to discuss ways to improve/prevent some of these hardships and how to better support ALICE families.
- Use the data to educate community members that ALICE exists in your area.
- Analyze the data and see what barriers are challenging ALICE families in your community.
- Use the ALICE data to take a closer look at some of the business practices in your community.
- Organize coalitions in your community that will work towards supporting ALICE.
- Small changes will add up to broad-scale differences for everyone below the ALICE threshold. Together we can envision a better future.