Over 50 million US families can’t afford basics like rent and food

43% of American households fail to earn enough to cover basic expenses.

© blogfactory

More than 50 million households in the United States don’t earn enough to pay for basic expenses, including housing, food, health care, transportation and a mobile phone, according to a new study.

Combined, these 50.8 million households make up 43 percent of America’s 119 million households, according to the data released by the United Way ALICE Project.

This calculation includes the 16.1 million households in poverty as well as another 34.7 million families called ALICE, which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.

The so-called ALICE households earn above the US government’s official poverty level, but less than what it takes to survive in the modern economy, the study found.

“Despite seemingly positive economic signs, the ALICE data shows that financial hardship is still a pervasive problem,” said Stephanie Hoopes, the project’s director.

“This research dispels long-standing myths about financial instability by showing that ALICE families exist in every community…

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11 thoughts on “Over 50 million US families can’t afford basics like rent and food

  1. I would say that the number is much higher if you include those who don’t even have a ‘household’ as in the ‘homeless’. Not to mention that there are also people who have taken to squatting in empty, derelict houses. And I am sure this number does not include those who are sleeping out of cars and RVs. It has been stated that teachers and firefighters in California are sleeping in vehicles or are moving into group home like settings just to escape homelessness.

    And yet, nary a hue nor a cry has been raised by the millions who are impacted and we’ll not hear a word because the masses have been effectively cowed. There is no hope left and people are too depressed for words and yet no one seems to be able to figure out why there are so many overdose deaths. This could be one of the reasons. Add psychological pain to physical pain and that is a recipe for disaster. The sad part is that those who should be held accountable for this will never receive what’s due them. More’s the damn pity! And so, we’ve come to this.


    • Excellent point, Shelby. You’re probably right that the homeless aren’t included in this figure. I’m aware of a number of homeless in Seattle who periodically shoplift to qualify for a nice warm bed in King County jail.

      It’s hard to say what kind of organizing might be going on covertly among the homeless. If the homeless were to organize openly, I’m sure they would be shot by cops or attacked by right wing thugs. Living out in the open makes people extremely vulnerable to random violence.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thene theres probly more than 50 million. My cousin in New York City says every place possibible is squatted in. Probly half million people


    • I’m a big fan of squatting, Terry, largely because the police can’t do anything unless landlords first go through lengthy and expensive court proceedings. The poor have been squatting for years. It’s good to hear the practice is finally catching on in the US.


    • Dr. Bramhall, for many, it is indeed, Third World. It’s why diseases are breaking out in homeless encampments, practically in every city, but most definitely in cities in California. In San Diego, a State of Emergency was declared because of a Hepatitis A outbreak among the homeless. Even the city workers are afraid to clean up homeless encampments because of all the fecal matter and used syringe needles. Soon, we’ll be hearing about a plague of some sort. We are rapidly descending into full blown Third World status thanks to an out and out assault against the homeless by the public and public officials who think that this will only continue to impact the homeless. They are wrong!


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