News Release | 2018 ALICE Report


Study Reveals 36% of Allen County working families continue to struggle to afford basic needs.

Fort Wayne, IN (September 6, 2018) – In 2016, 51,400 Allen County households were unable to afford the basic needs of housing, food, child care, health care and transportation despite working hard according to the ALICE® Report (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) released today by Indiana United Ways. ALICE individuals and families are defined as those who work and whose income is above the Federal Poverty Line but below the financial stability line. Combined, ALICE (22%) and poverty (14%) households account for 36 percent of the total Allen County households.  
ALICE individuals and families are working jobs that are vital to the success of our communities and yet they continue to struggle to cover basic needs. They are your local cashier, teacher’s assistant, or bus driver. Nearly one out of four families in Allen County are a part of the ALICE population.

The 2018 ALICE Report reveals:

  • More than 1 in 3 Allen County households cannot afford the basic costs of housing, food, health care, child care, and transportation, despite working hard.
  • In Allen County, the financial stability line (ALICE Household Survival Budget) for a family of four (two adults, one infant, and one toddler) is $53,000, a 10% increase from 2014 and a 23% increase from 2010. For comparison, the federal poverty level for a family of four is $24,300.
  • The number of households in Allen County living below the financial stability line and above the federal poverty line dropped from 33,300 households to 31,400, a 5.7% decrease.

“This small decrease in families struggling to survive shows us that change is possible. We are encouraged in our ALICE efforts to bring people and organizations together in our community around innovative solutions.” says David Nicole, President and CEO of United Way of Allen County.

The Indiana ALICE Report, takes a county-level look at the reality of employed, yet struggling Hoosier residents who have little or no savings, and are one emergency from falling into poverty. ALICE was originally introduced in Indiana in 2014 and the update provides a deeper look at how households have struggled over time since before the recession in 2007 through 2016. Using data from a variety of sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, Internal Revenue Service, and Indiana Department of Workforce Development, the report goes into detail about the number of working individuals and families struggling financially throughout the state, and why.

Working families are often forced to make choices that compromise their health and safety to make ends meet, putting both ALICE and the wider community at risk of long-term societal and economic repercussions. Tough choices for ALICE families may be deciding between putting dinner on the table, addressing a much-needed repair to the vehicle that carries them to and from work, or purchasing medication for the month.

United Way of Allen County has been using the ALICE Report to shape our programs and policies. By bringing together business, government, organized labor, education, nonprofit and faith-based leaders, we are working to find creative solutions to remove the barriers facing these hard-working families.

For more information or to find data about ALICE in Allen County, visit