Study: More than 40 percent in local counties can't afford basics of middle-class lifestyle

Study: More than 40 percent in local counties can't afford basics of middle-class lifestyle
(Source: WECT)

SOUTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA (WECT) - A new study found more than 40 percent of U.S. households can't afford the basics of a middle-class lifestyle, like rent, transportation, child care and a cellphone.

And that percentage is even higher in our local counties.

A study conducted by the United Way found while a large number of households in the country live above the official poverty line, they fall into a group called ALICE (asset-limited, income-constrained, employed).

People in the ALICE group are employed but don't earn enough for some ordinary expenses.

According to the study, only 43 percent of households in Bladen County and 46 percent in Columbus County live above the ALICE group.

Brunswick County has the highest percentage living above the ALICE group at 57 percent.

The full report is scheduled to be released Thursday.

A look at the numbers for local counties:

BLADEN COUNTY

  • Poverty: 27%
  • ALICE: 30%
  • Above ALICE threshold: 43%

BRUNSWICK COUNTY

  • Poverty: 17%
  • ALICE: 26%
  • Above ALICE threshold: 57%

COLUMBUS COUNTY

  • Poverty: 23%
  • ALICE: 31%
  • Above ALICE threshold: 46%

NEW HANOVER COUNTY

  • Poverty: 19%
  • ALICE: 28%
  • Above ALICE threshold: 53%

PENDER COUNTY

  • Poverty: 17%
  • ALICE: 29%
  • Above ALICE threshold: 54%

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