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United Ways release 2016 ALICE multi-state comparison of financial hardship

New report analyzes ALICE data across 13 states and evaluates short and long term solutions for households that are struggling financially

In 2016, United Ways in Connecticut, released their 2nd state-specific ALICE Report. ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) is a household with income above the Federal Poverty Level but below a basic cost-of-living Household Survival Budget. A new ALICE Multi-State Comparison, compares data across 13 states: Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin, and analyzes trends effecting ALICE across the nation.

ALICE lives and works in every town and city in Connecticut. The recently released ALICE Multi-State Comparison, reports that of the 38 million households studied across 13 states, 40 percent were living below the ALICE threshold. The 2016 Connecticut ALICE Update Report revealed that 27 percent (up from 25 percent in 2014) of households in Connecticut have earnings above the federal poverty level but below what it costs to afford basic necessities such as housing, food, child care, health care and transportation. When combined with the 11 percent of households living in poverty; more than 1 in 3 (38 percent) of Connecticut households are struggling to get by.

The ALICE Multi State Comparison reinforces many of the findings in the Connecticut ALICE Report including:

  • The ALICE population includes men and women, both young and old and of all races and  ethnicities.
  • Connecticut has the highest Household Survival Budget (i.e. cost of living) at $22,565 for a single adult and $70,788 for a family of four (two adults, one infant and one toddler).
  • Connecticut has the fewest low wage jobs (i.e under $20/hour) with 49 percent of jobs paying less than $20 per hour.
  • The cost of housing and child care (for families with two children in child care) are the biggest expenses for ALICE households.

The Multi State Comparison also focuses on short and long term solutions for ALICE households that can help ALICE overcome barriers and achieve financial security. Connecticut United Ways work with many community partners to provide short term relief to ALICE families. Connecticut United Ways also engage in more long term solutions for ALICE such as assisting with financial literacy, education and workforce readiness.

In 2016, United Ways in Connecticut invested more than $8.5 million in child care and early learning; $1.3 million in housing and homeless prevention work; $5 million in basic needs programs; and, assisted working families in obtaining nearly $40 million in EITC and tax refunds and credits.

For more information on the ALICE Report and to learn more about helping ALICE visit: http://alice.ctunitedway.org.