'ALICE' is an acronym that stands for Asset Limited, Income, Constrained, Employed. It's a metric that represents the number of households in a specific geographic area that earn more than the Federal Poverty Level but less than the basic cost of living for the county - also known as the ALICE Threshold.
Individuals and families that identify as ALICE are employed, occasionally working multiple jobs or in essential positions, but are unable to achieve or maintain financial stability due to the rising costs of living and stagnating wages.
In Escambia County, 34% of households are ALICE and 12% are below the Poverty Line, meaning that 46% of Escambia County households are below the ALICE Threshold. In Santa Rosa County, 24% are ALICE, 8% below the poverty line, and 32% below the ALICE Threshold. (2020 State of Florida ALICE Report)
A key metric in ALICE data is the Household Survival Budget. This budget details the monthly costs of housing, childcare, food, transportation, healthcare, technology, miscellaneous expenses, and taxes. It is the bare minimum cost to live and work in the modern economy and does not include savings for emergencies or future goals like college or retirement.
In Escambia County, the Household Survival Budget is $24,696 for a single adult, and $66,324 for a family consisting of two adults, one infant, and one preschooler. The hourly wage necessary to be able to afford the Household Survival Budget is $12.35 for a single adult and $33.16 for a family of four.
In Santa Rosa County, the annual Household Survival Budget is $26,664 for a single adult and $71,316 for a family of four. The hourly wage required to meet this budget is $13.33 for an individual and $35.66 for a family of four.
Putting this in perspective, the median annual salary in Florida is $22,040, less than all the budgets.
The reality is that ALICE families in our community, the state, and nation face ever-growing challenges in achieving and maintaining financial stability, but each step we can collectively take to support ALICE families helps strengthen our communities and generates a better quality of life for all.
To explore county-by-county and town-level data across the country, visit the electronic ALICE dashboard at www.UnitedForALICE.org/Florida.
The ALICE Report for Florida is a project of United For ALICE, a grassroots movement of over 650 United Ways in 21 states, corporations and foundations, all using the same methodology to document financial need. ALICE Reports provide county-by-county and town-level data, and analysis of how many households are struggling, including the obstacles ALICE households face on the road to financial independence.