Who is ALICE?
ALICE is an acronym that stands for Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed. It refers to households that earn above the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) but cannot afford the basic cost of living in their county. Despite struggling to make ends meet, ALICE households often do not qualify for public assistance.
ALICE in the Crosscurrents: COVID and Financial Hardship in Indiana is brought to you by Indiana United Ways and United Way of Central Indiana in partnership with United for ALICE, a driver of innovative research and action around financial hardship for ALICE households.
To create the ALICE report, a team of researchers worked with research advisory committees composed experts from Purdue University, Purpose of Life Ministries, the Public Policy Institute of the Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University Bloomington, Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, Black Onyx Management, and local United Ways.
The ALICE Household Survival Budget is the foundation of the ALICE research. This budget calculates the bare minimum cost of the household basics needed to live and work in the modern economy by household composition, in every county.
Key Insights from ALICE 2023
- During COVID, there were competing social and economic forces at play. These competing forces made it difficult to achieve financial stability during 2019-2021.
- Pandemic assistance helped ALICE families get closer to the ALICE Threshold for Financial Survival in Indiana. With supports expiring in 2023, more hard-working families will struggle.
- The number of households below the ALICE Threshold for Financial Survival increased from 941,166 (37%) in 2019 to over 1 million (39%) in 2021. More than twice as many households were ALICE than those with income below the FPL.
- Single-headed households struggle disproportionately in Indiana, whether they have children or not (76% of female-headed households with children, 53% of male-headed households with children, 37% single or cohabitating households without children).
What It Costs to Survive in Indiana
- The 2021 ALICE Household Survival Budget (county average) for a single working-age adult was $24,636 ($12.32/hour), for a single senior adult was $27,948 ($13.97/hour), and for a family of four with an infant and preschooler was $58,428 ($29.21/hour).
- Within Indiana, the Household Survival Budget varies from a low of $22,680 per year (Switzerland County) to a high of $31,644 per year (Hamilton County) for a single adult household, and from a low of $53,028 per year (Washington County) to a high of $76,608 per year (Hamilton County) for a family of four.
- In contrast, the Federal Poverty Level for a single adult and family of four was set at $12,880 and $26,500 respectively.
Request Your County’s ALICE Report
To request your county’s ALICE report, contact your local United Way or click the button below.