What is ALICE?

ALICE, an acronym which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed, represents the growing number of individuals and families who are working, but are unable to afford the basic necessities of housing, food, child care, health care, and transportation.

We see ALICE every day – hard workers who keep the Texas economy running. We find ALICE working behind cash registers, serving us in restaurants and retail stores, and caring for our young and elderly. They are our friends, family, and people we rely on every day. Yet they aren’t always sure that they can put food on their own tables or gas in their cars.

The data from this report shows that 28 percent of Texas families are ALICE. Combined with households that fall below the federal poverty line, this means that 42 percent of Texas families do not earn enough money to meet the Texas ALICE Household Survival Budget that uses conservative estimates on monthly expenses for housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, basic technology, and taxes.

Why ALICE Matters

ALICE workers are essential to the fabric of our society. ALICE works in jobs that are integral to our communities, from child care educators and home health aides to mechanics – all workers we rely on every day. The future success of our communities is directly tied to the financial stability of ALICE households. When ALICE suffers and is forced to make difficult choices, we all face serious consequences.

About the ALICE Project

United Way sought a research-based model in order to fully understand and respond to the needs of our communities. The ALICE methodology was conceived to develop real-time data on income and expenses, establishing a more a comprehensive analysis of the state of financial instability in our communities. Started in 2009 in New Jersey, the ALICE Project now has 17 participating states.

View an interactive map to explore additional local data


Take a Walk in ALICE's Shoes
We see ALICE every day – hard workers who keep the Texas economy running. The ALICE simulator allows you to experience the tough choices that these families make everyday. 
Learn more about ALICE and see the latest report at