38 percent of Brown County households struggle to afford basic needs, study finds


BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) – Thirty-eight percent of households in Brown County “are living on the edge of financial insecurity,” according to a new report released by the United Way of Wisconsin.

The study found that 11 percent of Brown County households live in poverty and 27 percent fall under the ALICE Threshold, which means they earn enough income to be above the Federal Poverty Level, but still struggle to afford health care, transportation, and food. ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.

That breaks down to 38,583 households in Brown County experiencing financial struggle.

In Wisconsin as a whole, 13 percent of households fall under the Federal Poverty Level, while 29 percent fall into the ALICE Threshold.

That translates to more than 960,000 households experiencing financial hardship–nearly half of the state’s population.

According to the study, 89 percent are white; 44 percent are led by someone over 65; and 36 percent have children in the home.

“This report provides the objective data that explains why so many residents are struggling to survive and the challenges they face in attempting to make ends meet,” said the report’s lead researcher, United Way ALICE Project National Director Stephanie Hoopes, Ph.D. “Until now, the true picture of need in local communities and states has been understated and obscured by misleading averages and outdated poverty statistics.”

CLICK HERE to view the full ALICE report. (opens pdf file)

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