ALICE Report

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United Way's Study of Financial Hardship

There are  979,000 Hoosier households unable to afford the basics of housing, food, health care, child care and transportation despite working hard according to the United Way ALICE Report released by Indiana Association of United Ways.
ALICE – Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed; Study of Financial Hardship places a spotlight on hardworking residents who have little or no savings, and are one emergency from falling into poverty. The Report is the most comprehensive depiction of financial need in the state to date, using the latest data from a variety of sources, including the U.S. Census, Internal Revenue Service and Indiana Department of Workforce Development. The ALICE Report unveils new measures, based on present-day income levels and expenses, that quantify the number of working people struggling financially in Indiana, and why.
A total of 636,871 Hoosier households fall into what United Way calls the ALICE population. These are households earning more than the official U.S. poverty level, but less than the basic cost of living. Combined, ALICE and poverty households, account for close to a million households in the state. This number is more than double the official poverty rate. “ALICE is our child care worker, our retail clerk, the CNA who cares for our grandparents, and our delivery driver. When we know who ALICE is, we can think more clearly about the kind of help and support that will make a difference in his or her life,” says Kathy Ertel, Board Chair of Indiana Association of United Ways.
United Ways in six states commissioned Rutgers University-Newark to conduct the ALICE research. United Way ALICE Reports provide county-by-county, city-level or township-level data and analysis of how many households are struggling, including the obstacles ALICE households face on the road to financial independence.

The 2018 Indiana ALICE Report Update reveals statewide (and on a county basis): 

  • More than 1 in 3 Hoosier households cannot afford the basics of housing, food, health care, child care, and transportation, despite working hard.
  • There are over 636,871 ALICE households in Indiana. Together, with those in poverty, close to a million Hoosier households (979,538) are unable to make ends meet.
  • At least 21% of households are living below the ALICE threshold in every county in Indiana—in addition to those living below the Federal poverty line.
  • Basic household expenses increased 23% for families and 21% for individuals on average across the state between 2010-2016, while the national rate of inflation for the same period was 9%.
  • 65% of jobs in Indiana pay less than $20 per hour, and two-thirds of those pay under $15 per hour. 

ALICE often is forced to make choices that compromise health and safety in order to make ends meet, putting both ALICE and the wider community at risk of long-term societal and economic repercussions. Indiana’s United Ways plan to use the ALICE report as an educational tool, creating local conversations about possible responses. This is a grassroots movement among United Ways to stimulate a fresh, nonpartisan national dialogue about the growing population of families living paycheck to paycheck. This effort grew from a project first initiated in 2009 at United Way of Northern New Jersey. Beginning this year, some 200 United Ways in these six states plan to use the reports as the framework for their work in improving their residents’ lives and strengthening their communities.


Download the United Way ALICE Report – Indiana, 2018 Update

Download the Madison County  Overview Report, 2018 Update

Download the United Way ALICE Report - Indiana Counties, 2018 Update