In Michigan, 1,664,606 households — 43 percent — could not afford basic needs such as housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, and technology in 2017.
This update of the ALICE Report for Michigan provides the most comprehensive look at the population called ALICE — an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. ALICE households have incomes above the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) but struggle to afford basic household necessities.
The Report describes the cost of basic needs for each county in Michigan — the ALICE Threshold — as well as the number of households earning below this amount and focuses on how households have fared since the Great Recession ended in 2010.
Despite overall improvement in employment and gains in median income, the economic recovery in Michigan has been uneven. Many ALICE households continue to face challenges from low wages, reduced work hours, depleted savings, and increasing costs. For the many households that earned slightly above the ALICE Threshold in the past, increases in the cost of living and flat wages have pushed them below the Threshold and into financial hardship. The total number of Michigan households that cannot afford basic needs increased 6 percent from 2010 to 2017.
This Report focuses on trends that have moved more Michigan families below the ALICE Threshold.