LUBBOCK, Texas – According to United Way’s ‘ALICE in Texas: A Financial Hardship Study’, 48 percent of Lubbock County households are struggling financially.

ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. ALICE households are those that earn above the Federal Poverty Level but still do not make enough to make ends meet. In Lubbock County, the latest data shows that 30 percent of households were ALICE and 18 percent were in poverty.

“Wages are not keeping up with the cost of living,” said Devin McCain, Community Impact Director for the Lubbock Area United Way.

According to McCain, the average cost of survival in Lubbock County is $28,080 per year for a single adult, and $72,312 for a family of four with an infant and a preschooler.

“Household essentials like food, transportation, and healthcare have been increasing about 3.4 percent in costs annually versus when you look at inflation which is only about 1.8 percent,” said McCain.

McCain said ALICE families are usually just one emergency away from “financial ruin.”

“There’s not a single zip code in the city of Lubbock that had less than a thousand people served by United Way,” said McCain. “79423 was the highest served in terms of services across the city.”