Do you know ALICE? ALICE is an acronym for Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed. ALICE is your child care worker, your home health aide, your office clerk. In Lubbock County, 48% of households are ALICE or living in poverty. They cannot afford the basics of housing, food, health care, child care, and transportation. Despite working hard, these households live paycheck to paycheck and struggle to make ends meet with little to no savings for emergencies.

With income above the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) but below a basic survival threshold - defined as the ALICE Threshold - ALICE households earn too much to qualify as "poor" but are still unable to make ends meet.

*Take the Challenge in our ALICE Simulator*



ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income, Constrained, Employed - these are households that earn above the Federal Poverty Level but still don't make enough to make ends meet. In Lubbock County, the latest available data shows that 30% were ALICE in 2018, up from 2016. Meanwhile, 18% were in poverty in Lubbock County - which means that 48% of households in Lubbock County are struggling. 

ALICE Report in Lubbock


ALICE and Poverty

*ALICE in Texas: A Financial Hardship Study shows that in 2018, the average cost of survival in Lubbock County ranged annually from $28,080 for a single adult to $31,104 for a senior citizen and $72,312 for a family of four with an infant and a preschooler. Putting these numbers in perspective, the median hourly wage for Retail Sales, the most common occupation in Texas, was $11.06, or $22,120 per year.



Out of the 9,766,487 households in Texas, 1,367,458 earned below the Federal Poverty Level (14%), and another 2,922,737 (30%) were ALICE. (statistics from the 2018 study)

 ALICE pie

Texas Population Statistics

  • Total Population: 28,701,845
  • Total Counties: 254
  • Total Number of Households: 9,766,487
  • Earners below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL): 1,367,458
  • Individuals who classify as ALICE: 2,922,737



  • 121 million total households
  • 51 million households (42%) could not afford basic necessities of housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, a smartphone plan, and taxes
  • 16 million households (13%) were in poverty, meaning they earned below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)
  • 35 million households (29%) - more than double the number in poverty - were ALICE, meaning they earned above the FPL but less than the cost of living in their country

ALICE total households



ALICE race/ethnicity

*Special Report: In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportional effect on people of color and recent events highlighting racism in the country, United for ALICE has prepared a special report on black households in the ALICE thresholds. In the U.S. 60% of black households live below the ALICE threshold, approximately 15 million households. Read the full report here.



At United Way, we know that the well-being of our community depends on the well-being of the people in it. That's why we are working to help ALICE meet basic needs and create a pathway to a successful future, and that's why we need your help.

Gifts to the United Way Annual Campaign goes toward addressing many of the challenges faced by ALICE families through the work of United Way Community Partners.

  • With as little as $2.50 a week, you can provide urgent and life-changing resources that impact communities across the South Plains served by United Way and our Community Partners.

What your dollars do

To learn more about numbers across the state, the entire report is available at