Upcoming Conference | 2019 Re-Wire Policy Conference, Dec 10, 2019 Register

Study: 37% of Washingtonians can’t afford basic necessities

In a new study out from the United Way, it found more than a third of Washingtonians can’t afford the basic necessities of modern life.

This threshold, which they define with the acronym ALICE – Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed – is another way to think of the working poor. However, this ALICE designation may be more appropriately applied to the middle class, which has been facing strong headwinds economically for a generation.

Comparatively speaking, Washington State is above average. Across the US, 43% of Americans can’t afford this basket of goods. The basket includes housing, food, child care, health care, transportation and a cell phone.

A county-level review shows Kitsap County leading with only 26% unable to meet this threshold. King County is second with 28%.

However, in Adams County, 55% of residents don’t earn enough income to meet this threshold. Meanwhile, in Whitman County, the number is 52%; in Ferry County, it is 53%; Yakima County shows 47%.