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Across Wisconsin, over a third of households struggle to afford the basic necessities of housing, child care, health care, food, and transportation. 


 

2018 United Way ALICE Report

Despite recent reports of overall improvement in employment and gains in median incomes, the economic recovery in Wisconsin has been uneven. Many families continue to face challenges from low wages, depleted savings, and the increasing cost of basic household goods. The total number of Wisconsin households that cannot afford basic needs increased 5 percent between 2010 and 2016.


This Report also shows what has changed in Wisconsin since the first United Way ALICE Report for Wisconsin was published two years ago. It updates the cost of basic needs in the Household Survival Budget for each county in Wisconsin, and the number of households earning below the amount needed to afford that budget (the ALICE Threshold). The Report delves deeper into county and municipal data and looks at the demographics of ALICE and poverty-level households by race/ethnicity, age, and household type to reveal variations in hardship that are often masked by state averages. Finally, the Report highlights emerging trends that will affect ALICE households in the future. To see more information by county, please visit the Research Center. 

 

Who is ALICE?

ALICE, an acronym which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed, is a way of defining our families, neighbors, and colleagues (men and women) who work hard, earn above the federal poverty level, but not enough to afford a basic household budget.

 

ALICE educates our children, keeps us healthy, and makes our quality of life possible. But these low-wage jobs, often in the service sector, do not pay enough for ALICE to live on. These families are forced to make tough choices, such as deciding between quality childcare or paying the rent, which have long-term consequences for ALICE and our communities. The future success of our communities is directly tied to the financial stability of ALICE households.

 

What is the United Way ALICE Initiative?

The United Way ALICE Initiative is a collaborative research effort identifying and communicating the needs of the voiceless part of our communities; allowing for local change-makers to understand, measure, and advance change to improve the lives of ALICE households, ultimately strengthening our communities.

 


 

 

 

Additional Links


                                                                

 

 

    The 2018 Report
is available here.
The revised 2016 Report 
is available here.
 

   

 

2018 Updates

  •  9.14.18 – Figure 12 on page 22 contained an error in the FPL reflected. Images was corrected.
  • 10.3.18 - The change in median earnings was misstated in the middle of the last paragraph on page 18. The text should reflect a 14 percent increase rather than 12 percent decrease. 

2016 United Way ALICE Report Erratum

The 2016 ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Study of Financial Hardship in Wisconsin characterized 29 percent of Wisconsin households as ALICE. Due to an error in calculating the tax budget line, that number should have been 23 percent. More information can be found here.

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