Who is ALICE?
ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed; and represents folks who make above the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), but not enough to cover the basics of what it takes to get by in their communities, despite working one or more jobs. Stagnant wages, increased housing costs, childcare expenses, etc., often prevent ALICE from becoming financially stable and force them to make difficult choices like whether to pay for gas, medical care, or food.

United Way of Whatcom County uses ALICE data to inform our work, partnering with local nonprofits, businesses, and community members to support basic needs, increase economic stability, and break the cycle of poverty for individuals and families in our county. It is so important for us to understand these issues, challenges, and barriers as we strive to help ALL members of our community reach financial stability.

According to the most recent United for ALICE research, 39% of households  in Whatcom County struggle to make ends meet. Female-led households are more likely to experience financial instability, with 84% of single female-headed households with children struggling to make enough to afford the very basics (compared with 16% and 58% of married and single male-headed households with children, respectively).

BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) households are also more likely to fall into the ALICE category than white households in Whatcom County. This localized data tracks national trends that show how communities of color fare worse economically than white households.

  • Click here to look at Whatcom County ALICE data. Click the County Reports box and choose Whatcom County in the drop down menu.

  • Watch United Way of Whatcom County’s video “Who is ALICE?” for a quick explainer. (2:21 mins)

  • The United For ALICE National Overview allows you to look at ALICE data throughout the country.