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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

We all know ALICEAsset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed — households that earn 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.

United For ALICE provides a framework, data, and tools that community stakeholders can use to inform policy and drive innovation. The Research Center is a one-stop source for 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.


National Overview — 2022

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

Of the 130,995,042 households in the U.S. in 2022…

  • 13% earned below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)
  • 29% were ALICE, in households that earned above the FPL but not enough to afford the basics in the communities where they live
  • Together, 42% of households in the U.S. 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). Before the pandemic, in 2019, 50,412,382 households were below the ALICE Threshold; by 2022 that number had changed to 55,043,727.

State-Level Details, 2022

Hover over any state for state-level details and click on a state to make county-level details appear below the national map.

This interactive map provides four data points for each state and county:

  • Total number of households
  • Percentage of households in poverty
  • Percentage of ALICE households
  • Percentage of households above the ALICE Threshold
Percent Below ALICE Threshold
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View Source
Sources: ALICE Threshold, 2018; American Community Survey, 2018

County-Level Details, 2022

Click For State Overview
Percent Below ALICE Threshold
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View Source
Sources: ALICE Threshold, 2018; American Community Survey, 2018

National Comparison, 2022

Hover over the blue boxes below to see the state name, county name, total number of households, and percentage of households below the ALICE threshold. Hover over the gold boxes to see the state name and average percentage of households below the ALICE Threshold for that state.

This interactive figure compares the percentage of households that live below the ALICE Threshold in each state in 2022. State averages are shown in gold. The percentage of the population that is below the ALICE Threshold within each county is represented by the blue boxes. This visual shows the variation in financial hardship that exists across and within states.

National Demographics, 2022

Use the drop-down menu to select a group (e.g., age). Hover over the bars in the figure to see the total number of households for each sub-group (e.g., under 25) and the percentage and number of households by income (poverty, ALICE, Above ALICE Threshold).

This interactive figure shows the demographic breakdown of poverty-level, ALICE, and above ALICE Threshold households in 2022 at the national level. Data shown below include households by age, household type, race/ethnicity, and rural/urban area.

View Notes
Note: All racial categories except Two or More Races are for one race alone. Race and ethnicity are overlapping categories; in this figure, the AI/AN (American Indian/Alaska Native), Asian, Black, Hawaiian (includes other Pacific Islanders), and Two or More Races groups may include Hispanic households. The White group includes only White, non-Hispanic households. The Hispanic group may include households of any race. Because household poverty data is not available for the American Community Survey’s race/ethnicity categories, annual income below $15,000 is used as a proxy.