A United Way acronym which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed


ALICE represents the households with income above the Federal Poverty Level but below the basic cost of living. The ALICE Report provides current research-based data that quantifies who in Wisconsin is living on the edge of financial insecurity. United Way will use the ALICE study which contains state, county and municipal level data to raise awareness in order to create lasting changes implemented to improve lives and strengthen local communities.
ALICE is striving for financial stability but faces complex barriers. Solutions will take a multi-faceted approach from private and public sectors, as well as the community as a whole. United Ways throughout Wisconsin recognize we need to go beyond singular or temporary fixes to create lasting change through a focus on the building blocks of a quality life: education, income, and health. In the end, helping ALICE will benefit us all. We all have an interest in improving conditions for ALICE – their everyday struggles reach beyond personal trials to impact the wider community. Get involved in the conversation by contacting your local United Way.

Who is ALICE in our Community:

  • The entire community is affected by the challenges that ALICE families face and once those challenges improve, the entire community will benefit.
  • These families and individuals have jobs, but many do not qualify for social services or support.
  • ALICE holds jobs that are critical to the success of our communities – child care workers, laborers and movers, home health aides, heavy truck drivers, store clerks, repair workers and office assistants – yet, they aren’t sure if they’ll be able to put dinner on the table each night.
  • There is a systemic problem that will not be solved with one magic bullet – policymakers, academics, business and social service agencies need to work together to address long-term systemic change.

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.

Core Report Statistics:

  • By comparing real incomes with real expenses, the United Way ALICE Project reveals this stark reality: 42% of Wisconsin households are living on the edge of financial insecurity.
  • In Wisconsin, 42% of households live below the ALICE threshold – about 13% live below the poverty level and another 29% 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 670,922 ALICE households in Wisconsin, more than double the official poverty rate. Together, with those in poverty, there are nearly 960,131 households unable to make ends meet in Wisconsin.
  • More than two-thirds of Wisconsin’s municipalities have more than 30 percent of households unable to afford life’s basic necessities.
  • Despite working and receiving financial supports, ALICE still faces a 21% gap in the income needed to be able to survive and afford the basics in Wisconsin.


Download the Full Report and FAQ’s below:


 ALICE Report                  ALICE FAQ’s

   Download                        Download