ALICE represents the 31% of West Virginians who work, but struggle to survive. ALICE stands for
Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.
ALICE earns above the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), but makes less than what’s needed to afford basic essentials. ALICE often earns too much to qualify for government assistance, and there is no room in ALICE’s budget for emergency expenses. If you combine WV households earning below the ALICE threshold, with those living below the FPL, that’s 48% of West Virginia households who face financial hardship every day, in every county across the state.
The number of households in financial hardship in West Virginia continues to be undercounted in official measures. According to the FPL, 17% of households in West Virginia (121,463) were in poverty in 2021. Yet United For ALICE data shows that another 31% (218,427 households) — almost twice as many — were ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed). ALICE households earn above the FPL, but not enough to afford the basics in the communities where they live.
The reality is that of the 711,392 households in West Virginia, 339,890 — 48% — had income below the ALICE Threshold of Financial Survival in 2021. These included both households in poverty and ALICE households.