A total of 982,835 households in the Pacific Northwest fall into what United Way calls the “ALICE” population. ALICE is an acronym for “Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed” — sometimes known as the working poor.
Members of ALICE households earn more than the official U.S. poverty level, but not enough to cover the basic costs of living. Combined, ALICE and poverty households account for 37 percent of all households in Idaho. Numbers are similar in Oregon and Washington, with 38 percent and 32 percent, respectively.
The average household income needed in order to survive in the Pacific Northwest ranges from $46,176 in Idaho to $50,796 in Oregon to $52,152 in Washington.
For a single adult, it ranges from $16,660 in Idaho to $18,240 in Oregon to $17,280 in Washington, more than double the official U.S. poverty rate.
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The new report says that despite the combination of wages and some public assistance, ALICE households still face an income gap and fall short of basic financial stability.
In Idaho, Owyhee County has the largest percentage of ALICE households, with 62 percent. Ada County has the smallest percentage, with 32 percent. Canyon County falls in at 42 percent.
The full ALICE report is available on United Way of Treasure Valley’s website, unitedwaytv.org/