ALICE report

Report: Pandemic left 39% of households financially insecure

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Relief efforts were ‘not enough’ to recoup years of increasing costs of basic needs for Michigan residents

When the coronavirus pandemic brought nearly every aspect of the modern world to a halt in early 2020, many Michiganders were able to maneuver through the economic difficulties that followed thanks to a variety of state and federal relief programs. 

However, as detailed in a new report — “ALICE in the Crosscurrents: COVID and Financial Hardship in Michigan” — released Wednesday from the Michigan Association of United Ways and its research partner, United for ALICE, those relief efforts provided only temporary assistance for many Michigan residents, with 1.6 million households identified as struggling to afford basic needs in 2021. 

ALICE in focus

Report highlights children in financial hardship

When the statewide ALICE report was released in 2021, a renewed focus was placed on a large population in Michigan that, while above the federal poverty line, still struggles to afford the essentials in life.

From housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, a smartphone plan, and taxes — the basics needed to live and work in the modern economy — those identified in the ALICE report as Asset Limited, Income Constrained and Employed include 25% of households in the state, joined by an additional 13% in poverty.