2023 ALICE REPORT: unitedwayinc.org/publications/2023-alice-report
ALICE is a United Way-coined acronym that stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. These families earn above the Federal Poverty Level but less than what’s needed to survive in the modern economy. ALICE families have been overlooked and undercounted by traditional poverty measures. ALICE is the nation’s child care workers, home health aides and cashiers heralded during the pandemic – those working low-wage jobs, with little or no savings and one emergency away from poverty.
So who is ALICE? ALICE is us, our friends, neighbors, coworkers and family members. We lean on ALICE for support; yet many ALICE households are one emergency away from a financial crisis.
Connecticut United Ways have launched the 2023 ALICE Report, a study of financial hardship in CT. It sheds light on the large, hidden ALICE population in Connecticut.
ALICE in the Crosscurrents: COVID and Financial Hardship in Connecticut shows that the total number of financially insecure households in Connecticut rose by 11% between 2019 and 2021 – almost triple the 4% increase in the state’s overall population.
In fact, Connecticut ranked 19th in financial hardship among all 50 states, with one of the nation’s highest percentages of households struggling to make ends meet in 2021.
As the costs of basics have climbed, wages for ALICE workers have failed to keep up. The result? Workers have lost buying power over the past 15 years. Workers in retail sales, (a common occupation in Connecticut), saw an average $42,500 loss of buying power — more than a full year’s earnings, according to findings within the ALICE Essentials Index.
“ALICE doesn’t buy power boats or hire landscapers — ALICE is doing the landscaping,” said Stephanie Hoopes, Ph.D., national director for United For ALICE, a U.S. research organization driving solutions to financial hardship. “ALICE is simply trying to afford safe housing and dinner on the table.”
To read the ALICE report and access online, interactive dashboards that provide data on financial hardship at the state, county and local level, visit UnitedForAlice.org/state-overview/Connecticut.
To learn more about the 2023 ALICE Essentials Index, and to explore the online dashboards, visit UnitedForALICE.org/Essentials-Index.