A new report from the United Way of Wisconsin shows about one-third of state households struggle to afford basic needs.

The study is based on 2018 data, so it doesn’t take into account any impact from COVID-19. The United Way report shows 11-percent of households were living below the federal poverty line, and 23-percent are ALICE households, an acronym standing for asset limited, income constrained, employed.

From the report:

For far too many families, the cost of living outpaces what they earn. Yet these workers perform jobs that are critical to the functioning of our local communities – educating our children, keeping us healthy, and making our quality of life possible. When funds run short, these households are forced to make impossible choices, such as deciding between quality child care or paying the rent, filling a prescription or fixing the car. These short-term decisions have long-term consequences not only for ALICE families, but for all of us. The future success of our communities is directly tied to the financial stability of these fragile ALICE households.

The United Way says Wisconsin needs to find ways to make child care and health care more affordable. More information, including data for all 72 counties, can be found here.

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