The ALICE Report

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New Louisiana ALICE Report

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic upended life as we knew it. In addition to claiming the lives of millions, it unleashed an array of competing economic forces that continue to affect our way of life today.

The result: An alarmingly high rate of Southeast Louisiana residents struggling to make ends meet (51% of households below the ALICE Threshold in 2019 and 50% in 2022).

The data finds that while 90,290 households were in poverty in 2022, another 170,345 were ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed), earning above the poverty level but less than the cost of basics.

While many of these low-income workers saw their wages grow at the fastest rate in four decades, it wasn’t enough to eclipse the burden of inflation – making it nearly impossible for ALICE to keep pace. For a family of four with an infant and a preschooler, the costs of basics in Southeast Louisiana, excluding tax credits, rose from $70,716 in 2021 to $83,880 just one year later.


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The findings in this one-year period are consistent with a more than decade-long trend:

The number of ALICE households in Southeast Louisiana has been steadily growing. From 2010 to 2022, the total number of households rose by 12%, households in poverty remained flat, and the number of ALICE households grew by 10%, or 32,895 more households.




Help us help ALICE


Equipped with this ALICE data, we can do even better to develop effective policies and track our progress toward reducing financial hardship in Southeast Louisiana. We have an opportunity to build on what was learned during the pandemic as ALICE continues to face economic uncertainty.

With pandemic assistance waning, there are warning signs on the horizon that households struggling to make ends meet are losing ground. These include high levels of food insufficiency, continued difficulty paying bills, medical debt, and feelings of anxiety and depression.


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Cashiers live below ALICE Threshold

Who is ALICE?

Our partners at United Way of Northern New Jersey developed the ALICE name and measurements in 2009 to shine a spotlight on ALICE households, and Louisiana joined the movement in 2015. It represents hardworking families who have been left behind — unable to afford the basics of housing, food, child care, health care, technology, and transportation. Despite working hard as our nation’s child care educators, home health aides, and cashiers, ALICE lives paycheck to paycheck, unable to save, and is one emergency away from falling into financial ruin.


Why ALICE Matters

ALICE essential workers are integral to our community. And as the pandemic showed us, many of them are the essential workers who kept our economy and our way of life going. We continue to rely on ALICE workers every day — from the child care educator to the grocery store clerk to the delivery person to the home health aide.

But what happens when cash-strapped ALICE households are forced to make impossible choices such as deciding between a car repair or quality child care, heat or a prescription? These short-term decisions have long-term consequences not only for ALICE, but for all of us.


United Way Fights for ALICE







60 Preschoolers get
books to boost


10 ALICE families
receive free tax prep and
filing services


500 hot meals to
families living below
 ALICE Threshold


Empowers six students
with cutting-edge technology



The success of our community depends on the financial stability of ALICE.

Through our work, United Way of Southeast Louisiana is helping to ensure a future

where ALICE can achieve racial and economic equity.


Because when ALICE succeeds, we all win.

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ALICE Across The U.S.

Struggling ALICE households can be found in every state — in wealthy suburbs, big cities, and small towns. A growing movement called United For ALICE has expanded to serve as a champion for ALICE families.

Using a standardized methodology, United For ALICE assesses the cost of living in every state, providing a comprehensive look at financial hardship throughout the country that is more accurate than traditional federal poverty guidelines.

Through this data and collective action, United For ALICE is helping to give ALICE a national voice. The ALICE movement, led by United Way of Northern New Jersey, now includes United Ways, corporations, and foundations in dozens of states and the District of Columbia.

Are You ALICE?


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Now, more than ever, we need action. Can we count on you?

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