More than 40 percent of Texans are one even minor catastrophe away from being unable to afford even the most basic needs, the United Way’s report on asset limited, income constrained, employed (or, ALICE) households revealed last week.
The most recent ALICE report looks at how many in each state and county lived below its threshold in 2016.
“The ALICE Threshold is the bare-minimum economic survival level that is based on the local cost of living in each area,” the United Way said. The average person that falls under that threshold earns above the Federal Poverty Level, but not enough to afford even the most bare-bones of budgets that account for housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, and necessary technology.
Statewide, about 42.1 percent have a hard time making ends meet, the report revealed, which is a much larger number than the state’s 14 percent poverty rate.
In North Texas, those numbers vary. In Dallas, where the poverty rate is around 14 percent as well, the percentage of those living below the threshold is 43.4 percent.
About a year ago, we reported on a study that found that Dallas was in the top five cities in the country when it came to eviction rates, with 5.6 percent, low-income renters accounting for 8.1 percent of all evictions. Middle-income and high-income renters accounted for 6.3 percent and 2.8 percent of evictions respectively, indicating that indeed, Dallas County residents are having trouble affording even shelter.
But in Tarrant County, 37 percent of households fall under that threshold, with a 10 percent poverty rate. Collin County shows 23.7 percent of its households fall under the threshold, with just less than a 7 percent poverty rate. Denton County has a nearly 8 percent poverty rate, with 28.5 percent of its households falling under the threshold.