ALICE has no safety net for emergencies


ALICE's income falls short of basic necessities


ALICE is working, but can't afford the cost of living


The United Way ALICE Report - Hawaii

Aloha United Way commissioned ALICE: A STUDY OF FINANCIAL HARDSHIP IN HAWAI‘I to help identify those across our state who are struggling to make ends meet, and to understand the enormity of this issue and the obstacles these families and individuals in our communities face. ALICE is an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. In Hawai‘i, there are 165,013 ALICE households (37 percent), while another 47,066 households (11 percent) live below the poverty level. In total, 48 percent of Hawai‘I households are ALICE and below.

Click here to read The United Way ALICE Report - Hawaii

Our ALICE population represents hardworking people we interact with every day, who have a job - or two or three - yet cannot afford basic necessities to remain stable and self-sufficient.


ALICE lives in every town and city across Hawai‘i. ALICE exists in every ethnicity. They include child care providers, retail salespersons, waitstaff, cashiers, administrative assistants, janitors, housekeepers, landscapers, teaching assistants, mechanics, restaurant cooks and more. They are our friends, family, and people we rely on every day. It takes just one crisis – loss of employment for a short period, an unexpected health emergency or car repair, an increase in monthly rent – to put these families and individuals at even greater risk of long-term problems like chronic health issues or loss of housing.

Hawaii Counties, 2015

County Total Households % ALICE & Poverty
Hawai'i 64,201 55%
Honolulu 307,703 46%
Kaua'i 21,862 43%
Maui 52,134 51%

Click here to read The ALICE by County - Hawaii



The Household Survival Budget is the basis for the ALICE Threshold and quantifies the costs of the five basic essentials of housing, child care, food, transportation and health care.

  • The average annual Household Survival Budget for a four-person family living in Hawai‘i is $72,336. This translates to an hourly wage of $36.17 for one parent or $18.09 per hour if both parents work.
  • The average annual Household Survival Budget for a single adult in Hawai‘i is $28,128, which translates to an hourly wage of $14.06.
  • Housing represents a Hawai‘i family’s greatest expense—an average of $1,362 per month for a two-bedroom apartment (Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development).

The bare-minimum Household Survival Budget does not allow for any savings, leaving a household vulnerable to unexpected expenses. Affording only a very modest living in each community, this budget is still significantly more than the adjusted 2015 Federal Poverty Level for Hawai‘i of $13,550 for a single adult and $27,890 for a family of four.* 

Household Survival Budget

  Single Adult 2 Adult, 1 Infant, 1 Preschooler % Change 2007 - 2015
Monthly Costs      
Housing $944 $1,362 18%
Child Care $0 $1,207 18%
Food $312 $1,032 24%
Transportation $276 $544 -21%
Health Care $166 $635 77%
Miscellaneous $213 $548 20%
Taxes $433 $700 32%
Monthly Total $2,344 $6,028 20%
ANNUAL TOTAL $28,128 $72,336 20%
Hourly Wage $14.06 $36.17 20%

Source:  U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); USDA; Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS; Internal Revenue Service (IRS); TAX Foundation of Hawaii and Hawaii Department of Taxation; and Hawaii Department of Human Services; 2015


Funding for the United Way ALICE Report was made possible by Bank of Hawaii Foundation, Hawaii Community Foundation, Kamehameha Schools.