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

National Overview

Over the last decade, behind the veneer of a strong economy, conditions have actually gotten worse for millions of families across the U.S. — and that decline set the stage for the dual health and economic crises of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the center of these crises is ALICE: households that are ALICEAsset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.

ALICE workers educate our children, keep us healthy, and make our quality of life possible, yet do not earn enough to support their own families. ALICE households have income that is above the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) but not high enough to afford essentials in the communities where they live. As a result, they are forced to make tough choices, such as deciding between quality child care or paying the rent, which have long-term consequences not only for ALICE but for all.

In order to better understand this growing population, United For ALICE provides a framework, language, statistics, and tools that community stakeholders can use to inform policy and drive innovation. The Research Center is the hub of — a one-stop source for exploring the latest ALICE data, on a national scale down to the local level in our partner states. Use the tabs below to navigate the Research Center.