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ALICE-Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed Households in Maine

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Why This Indicator Matters

Children thrive when their parents have sufficient income to meet their family's basic needs. Living just above the poverty line makes it difficult for families to afford the essentials that children need and yet these same families could be over income for certain economic supports. These ALICE families include parents working full-time at common jobs such as child care worker or cook, because many jobs do not pay enough for families to meet their basic needs.

In 2021, Maine, there were 270,893 households living in poverty, or 12%. Another 30% of households. or 172,502 households, were ALICE, earning above the poverty line but not enough to afford the basics in the communities where they live. For families with children, 15,500 families lived in poverty and another 25,500 had incomes in the ALICE category.

The cost of a basic needs budget varied between $63,444 in Aroostook County and $80.760 in York for a family of four with an infant and a preschooler needing child care. The counties with the highest percent of households in the combined categories of poverty and ALICE were Washington, 51% and Piscataquis, 49%. Sagadahoc had the lowest percentage of households in poverty and in ALICE at 33%.
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Definition and Source



This indicator shows the number and percentage of households in each group with incomes:
  • At or below the Federal Poverty Level (Poverty)
  • Income above the Federal Poverty Level but below what is needed to afford the cost of basic expenses (ALICE)
  • Income at or above the cost of basics (Above ALICE) 
County d
ata included are the years 2018, 2019 and 2021. The poverty level is defined by the official poverty level. The ALICE group of households earned above the federal poverty level but below the minimum income level necessary to afford a bare-minimum household budget and was adjusted for household size and composition for each county. For more information on methodology, see the ALICE Research Methodology Overview

Data Source

ALICE in Maine: A study of financial hardship was compiled by United Ways of Maine in partnership with United for ALICE, a U.S. research organization, and was funded by the John T. Gorman Foundation. 


This data is about households, not specifically families, so it includes households with adults living without children in the home. Data for households by Maine counties can be downloaded from the first graph at number of households. (Click the download icon at the bottom right-hand side of the graph.)

Last Updated

November 2023