ALICE® is an acronym coined by United Way that stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. The ALICE population represents those of us (men, women, and families) who work hard and earn more than the official Federal Poverty Level, but less than the basic cost of living.


The ALICE Report outlines the challenges of individuals and families who earn more than the official Federal Poverty Level, but less than the basic cost of living. Too many of our neighbors often struggle to afford basic necessities including housing, food, child care, health care, and transportation.


Central Virginia’s localities are the core geography for ALICE data: They reveal variations often masked by statewide averages, and the data is reported regularly and reliably. (It will look like the text below) and each will have a downloadable PDF

Amherst County

Appomattox County

Bedford County

Campbell County

Lynchburg City



Traditional economic measures systematically underestimate the actual cost of basic needs and how quickly they increase over time, concealing important aspects of the local and national economy. To better capture the reality of how much households need to live and work in the modern economy in each Virginia county, United For ALICE provides three basic budgets, each of which can be calculated for various household types:

The ALICE Household Survival Budget

The minimal estimate of the total cost of household essentials — housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, and a smartphone plan, plus taxes and a miscellaneous contingency fund equal to 10% of the budget.

The Senior Survival Budget

Adjusts the Household Survival Budget to reflect the fact that seniors have lower food costs than younger adults, travel fewer miles for work and family responsibilities, and have increasing health needs and out of pocket health care expenses.

The ALICE Household Stability Budget

Posits a more sustainable budget model that estimates the higher costs of maintaining a viable household over time, including a 10% savings category that can be used in an emergency, for additional education, or to buy a home.

Local Household Budgets (downloadable PDFs)

Amherst Budget

Appomattox Budget

Bedford Budget

Campbell Budget

Lynchburg Budget

Virginia * 2018 Demographics

ALICE households live in every county in Virginia — urban, suburban, and rural — and they include people of all genders, ages, and races/ethnicities, across all family types. However, some groups are more likely to be ALICE than others. Each of the Demographics data below outlines the struggles of the following groups:

How many families with children are struggling?

Children add significant expense to a family budget, so it is not surprising that many families with children live below the ALICE Threshold. Though more families are headed by married parents, families with a single parent are more likely to have income below the ALICE Threshold.

What are the differences in ALICE households by age?

There are ALICE households in every age bracket. The youngest group (people under 25) is more likely to be in poverty, and both the youngest and the oldest (people 65 and older) groups are more likely to be ALICE.

What are the races and ethnicities of ALICE households?

Overall, the races and ethnicities of ALICE households mirror those of the total state population. Yet some groups still face economic and systemic barriers that limit their earnings and make them more likely to live below the ALICE Threshold.

Virginia Demographics (downloadable PDFs)

Amherst Demographic

Appomattox Demographic

Bedford Demographic

Campbell Demographic

Lynchburg Demographic