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Research Center • South Carolina

We all know people who are ALICE: Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed — earning more than the Federal Poverty Level, but not enough to afford the basics where they live.

ALICE households and households in poverty are forced to make tough choices, such as deciding between quality child care or paying the rent — choices that have long-term consequences not only for their families, but for all.

See the sponsors who make this work possible.


South Carolina


United For ALICE calculates the cost of household essentials for all counties in South Carolina. These costs, outlined in the Household Survival Budget, are calculated for various household sizes and compositions.

Of South Carolina's 2,122,865 households in 2022…

  • 14% earned below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)
  • 30% were ALICE, in households that earned above the FPL but not enough to afford the basics in the communities where they live
  • Together, 44% of households in South Carolina were below the ALICE Threshold (poverty + ALICE divided by total households)

While the COVID-19 pandemic brought employment shifts, health struggles, and school/business closures, it also spurred temporary expansion of public assistance through pandemic relief measures (which then reverted to pre-pandemic levels in 2022). In 2019, 49,791,793 households in South Carolina were below the ALICE Threshold; by 2022, that number had changed to 939,833. Use the buttons below to switch between ALICE data over time by number and percentage.

Learn More

See this data — and more — for all South Carolina counties on the County Reports page.

ALICE Lives in Every Community

ALICE lives in rural, urban, and suburban areas across the state. ALICE household data for South Carolina is available by County (see map below), ZIP code, Census Designated Place, and County Subdivision (on the Maps page) and by Legislative District. You can also compare states and explore national-level data on the National Overview page or download an Excel version of this data.

Hover over a county to see the total number and percentage of households that were below the FPL (Poverty), were ALICE, or were above the ALICE Threshold in 2022.

Percent Below ALICE Threshold
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Household Type: All Households
CountyHouseholds% Below ALICE

Learn More

See maps with additional locations and topics on the Maps page.

ALICE Households are Diverse, but Financial Hardship is Not Equally Distributed

ALICE households are as diverse as the communities they live in. ALICE household data is available at the state and county levels by race/ethnicity, household composition (families with children, single households), and age of householder. Exploring the demographics of financial hardship highlights inequities in the state and local economy.

For example, the figure below shows the substantial disparities in financial hardship that exist by race/ethnicity.


Households by Race, South Carolina, 2022

Learn More

View more demographic data — including data by household type and age of householder — on the Demographics page.

ALICE Works Hard, But It’s Not Enough

A key contributor to the number of ALICE households in South Carolina is the fundamental mismatch between the cost of living and what jobs pay.

Top Occupations, Employment, Wages, and Percentage Below ALICE Threshold, South Carolina, 2022

Median Hourly
Percent Median
Wage Change
From 2019
Percent Workers

Learn More

Learn more about work on the Labor Force page.

ALICE Data Can Inform Action

A catalyst for change, the ALICE research calls us all to action. Partner organizations across the country are using this research to inform programming, policy, evaluation, planning, and more.

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ALICE In Action

See what our partners are doing to help ALICE in the ALICE in Action database.

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Indicators of Well-being

View ALICE data mapped with Indicators of community well-being

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Community Maps

Search for resources to help ALICE in your community on the Maps page