ALICE IN ULSTER COUNTY
ALICE is an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed — households that earn more than the Federal Poverty Level, but less than the basic cost of living for the county. While conditions have improved for some households, many continue to struggle, especially as wages fail to keep pace with the rising cost of household essentials (housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, and a basic smartphone plan). Households below the ALICE Threshold — ALICE households plus those in poverty — can’t afford the essentials.
Financial Hardship Has Changed Over Time in Ulster County
As circumstances change, households may find themselves below or above the ALICE Threshold at different times. While the COVID-19 pandemic brought employment shifts, health struggles, and school/business closures in 2021, it also spurred unprecedented public assistance through pandemic relief measures. In 2019, 30,198 households in Ulster County were below the ALICE Threshold; by 2021 that number had changed to 27,313.
Financial Hardship is Not Equally Distributed
By total number, groups with the largest population of households below the ALICE Threshold tend to also be in the largest demographic groups. However, when looking at the proportion of each group that is below the ALICE Threshold, it is clear that some groups are more likely to be ALICE than others.
Households by Race/Ethnicity, Ulster County, New York, 2021
There were also differences in financial hardship by household type and age of householder.
The Cost of Basics Outpaces Wages
The Household Survival Budget reflects the minimum cost to live and work in the modern economy and includes housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, a smartphone plan, and taxes. It does not include savings for emergencies or future goals like college or retirement. In 2021, household costs in every county in New York were well above the Federal Poverty Level of $12,880 for a single adult and $26,500 for a family of four.
|Housing – Rent||$706||$781||$781||$781||$1,004||$1,004||$706||$781|
|Housing – Utilities||$154||$239||$239||$239||$292||$292||$154||$239|
The Labor Landscape is Challenging for ALICE Workers
A small portion of adults (16 years and older) in Ulster County were unemployed and a large number were working in 2021. However, a significant portion of both full and part-time workers are paid by the hour; these workers are more likely to have fluctuations in income and less likely to receive benefits.
There is significant variation in the number of households who live below the ALICE Threshold within the county. Explore the map and table below to learn more. The map is shaded to show the percentage of households that are below the ALICE Threshold (poverty-level and ALICE households combined).
|Denning town, Ulster County, New York||179||29%|
|Esopus town, Ulster County, New York||4,056||39%|
|Gardiner town, Ulster County, New York||1,384||27%|
|Hurley town, Ulster County, New York||2,573||34%|
|Kingston city, Ulster County, New York||9,505||49%|
|Kingston town, Ulster County, New York||386||48%|
|Lloyd town, Ulster County, New York||4,278||36%|
|Marbletown town, Ulster County, New York||2,326||38%|
|Marlborough town, Ulster County, New York||3,684||27%|
|New Paltz town, Ulster County, New York||4,868||41%|
|Olive town, Ulster County, New York||1,736||33%|
|Plattekill town, Ulster County, New York||4,157||44%|
|Rochester town, Ulster County, New York||2,888||39%|
|Rosendale town, Ulster County, New York||2,360||46%|
|Saugerties town, Ulster County, New York||8,109||44%|
|Shandaken town, Ulster County, New York||1,474||48%|
|Shawangunk town, Ulster County, New York||4,339||23%|
|Ulster town, Ulster County, New York||5,262||40%|
|Wawarsing town, Ulster County, New York||4,361||50%|
|Woodstock town, Ulster County, New York||3,204||40%|
See what partners across the country are doing to improve life for ALICE households on our ALICE in Action page.