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The ALICE Project

The ALICE Project

Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed

Across Michigan, 40 percent of households struggle to afford the basick necessities of housing, child care, food, health care and transportation.

For more information from the state level, see Michigan Association of United Ways' webpage.

What the United Way ALICE Report reveals:

More than 60 percent of all jobs in Michigan pay less than $40,000 a year and low-income jobs are projected to dominate the state's economy for the foreseeable future.

ALICE is men and women, young and old, of all races, closely mirroring our state's basic demographic make-up. More than 77 percent of the ALICE population is white and 42 percent are within their prime wage-earning years of 45 to 64 years old.

Nearly three-quarters of Michigan's 1,529 municipalities have 30 percent or more households unable to make ends meet. The average income needed in order to survive in Michigan depends on local conditions and ranges from $47,000 to $62,000 annually for a family of four, more than double the official poverty U.S. poverty rate.

Despite the combination of ALICE's wages and some public assistance, ALICE households still face an average 14 percent income gap in order to reach financial stability.

There are serious consequences for both ALICE households and their communities when these households cannont afford the basic necessities.

ALICE households are forced to make difficult choices such as skipping preventative health care, accredited child care, healthy food or car insurance. These "savings" threaten their health, safety, and future - and they reduce Michigan's economic productivity and raise insurance premiums and taxes for everyone. The costs are high for both ALICE families and the wider community.
United Way's in Michigan have come together to release the ALICE Report because recognizing the magnitude of the number of households facing financial hardship, as well as the different types of households and problems they confront, will make more effective change possible.