In 2017, 37% of Pennsylvania households could not afford basic needs such as housing, childcare, food, transportation, health care, and technology. Despite recent overall improvements in employment and income, the economic recovery in Pennsylvania since the end of 2010 has been uneven.

  • The total number of PA households that cannot afford basic needs increased 14% between 2007 and 2017
  • In over 1,850,000 PA households, people of all ages and races go to work each day but still can't be sure they'll be able to put dinner on the table each night.
  • These people include your child care worker, nursing assistant, and office administrator - workers essential to the success of all of our communities.

The ALICE Report for Pennsylvania describes the population called ALICE, an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed - families with income above the Federal Poverty Level, but not high enough to afford basic household necessities. With the cost of living higher than what most people earn, ALICE households live in every county in Pennsylvania and they include women and men, young and old, of all races and ethnicities.


Chester County is the wealthiest county in Pennsylvania, boasting a poverty rate of only 7%. The real need in our community becomes clearer when we consider there is a 20% rate of ALICE households. That's 20% of our neighbors, friends and families going unable to afford basic necessities. The documents below illustrate the need in Chester County.