Across Michigan, 43 percent of households struggle to afford the basic necessities of housing, child care, food, technology, health care and transportation.

That's why United Ways across Michigan, with help from the Consumers Energy Foundation, have come together to bring you the ALICE Project. Standing for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed - ALICE represents those in our communities who are working yet still struggling to make ends meet. 


The ALICE Report is the most comprehensive depiction of need in Michigan to date. In the five years since the Michigan Association of United Ways has released its first ALICE Report, Michigan residents have started to get a clearer picture of their neighbors, loved ones, friends, and acquaintances than ever before.


The 2019 release of our third ALICE Report continues to inform the conversation about the real and present needs of our residents. The newest report shows the increased cost of living, combined with low wages, reduced work hours, and depleted savings has led to an uneven economic recovery in Michigan. That’s why Michigan United Ways remain committed to serving ALICE, and all those in need, through programs that strive to improve the health, education, and financial stability of all Michigan residents.


The United Way ALICE Report reveals the financial hardships of many michigan households. 


1.66 million households - 43% of Michigan's population - cannot afford basic household necessities.

A growing proportion of households across Michigan - comprised of all races, ages, genders, and family compositions - have income that can’t afford the actual costs of housing, child care, food, health care, technology and transportation.

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Between 2010 and 2017, The basic cost of household expenses increased by 27% for a family of four and 26% for a single adult.

Single adults now need an annual salary of just over $21,000, while a family of four needs an annual salary of over $61,000 - just to afford the basics. These bare-minimum budgets are still significantly higher than the 2017 Federal Poverty Level of $24,600 for a family of four and $12,060 for a single adult.

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61% of all jobs in michigan pay less than $20 per hour.

A single adult needs to make $10.52 per hour, while a family of four needs $30.64 per hour just to make ends meet. Low wages for ALICE households make it more difficult to meet their basic budget or save for the future.

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an aging population, market instability, and health inequality could change the landscape for alice families

Shifts to Michigan’s economic climate could affect Michigan’s economic landscape and the well-being of ALICE households.


the bottom line


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.