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In October 2023, United Ways of Maine launched a statewide data project — ALICE in Maine — examining the financial challenges faced by residents in every county of Maine.

ALICE is an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed – households that earn more than the Federal Poverty Level, but less than the basic cost of living for the county (the ALICE Threshold). Households below the ALICE Threshold – ALICE households plus those in poverty – can’t afford essentials. The research shows that 42% of households in Kennebec County fall into this threshold – unable to afford their housing, food, child care, health care, and/or transportation needs.

As circumstances change, households may find themselves below or above the ALICE Threshold at different times. While the COVID-19 pandemic brought employment shifts, health struggles, and school/business closures in 2021, it also spurred unprecedented public assistance through pandemic relief measures. In 2019, 19,484 households in Kennebec County were below the ALICE Threshold; in 2021, this number increased to 22,830.

The ALICE Report serves as a guide for implementing lasting solutions to address the increasing financial instability among Maine families.

ALICE In Maine 2021 Report

United For ALICE calculates the cost of household essentials for all counties in Maine. These costs, outlined in the Household Survival Budget, are calculated for various household sizes and compositions.

Of Kennebec County’s 22,830 households in 2021… 

To learn more about ALICE In Maine, visit ALICEInMaine.org