Skip to main content

A new report from United Way shows 49% of households in Lubbock County face financial insecurity. 19% of those families fell below the federal poverty line, while the remaining 30% were considered to live paycheck-to-paycheck with no room for saving.

Together, the 49% falls under the ALICE category – which means Assets Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.

“It’s our families who at the end of the month have to go ‘okay are we going to pay the electric bill or are we going to buy groceries? Are we going to send our kid to football camp or are we going to pay the credit card bill,” Libby Linker, the Director of Community Engagement for Lubbock United Way, said.

The latest ALICE report shows data from 2022. Between 2021 and 2022, it shows a 5% increase in Lubbock County homes reaching ALICE status.

“We’ve seen pandemic tax support go away, we’ve seen those additional dollars in our family budgets go down, we’ve seen prices go up, and wages haven’t necessarily been able to offset that,” Linker said.

As part of the report, United Way calculated a “survival budget”. That number represents the basic cost to live and work in Lubbock County. In this latest report, that number was $81,204 for a dual income family with two children.

“We consider the folks that fall in between this ability to save, to have a comfort level with finances all the way to federal poverty as ALICE,” Linker said.

While the prospect of a growing city such as Lubbock could bring hope for new jobs to ease the financial burden so many face, Linker says root issues will need to be addressed first.

“We know as our community continues to grow we’re going to have to grow along with it and address these needs and gaps within our community,” Linker said.

United Way acknowledged the impact financial insecurity can have on mental health and family dynamics, saying the organization will use the data to better support the community.

“Equipped with the ALICE data, we can do even better to advocate for effective policies, invest in solutions, and track our progress toward reducing financial hardship in Lubbock County and the surrounding area,” Linker said.

Additional report insights include:

  • Racial disparities persist in the rates of financial hardship; 57% of Black and 52% of Hispanic households were below the ALICE Threshold in 2022, compared to 35% of White households.
  • Single-female-headed households had among the highest rates of hardship. 81% – of Lubbock County’s single-female-headed households could not afford basics in 2022.
  • In 2022, 70% of the 20 most common jobs in Texas paid less than $20 per hour. As a result, many of these top jobs still had a substantial percentage of workers who were either ALICE or in poverty in 2022.

To read the report and access online, interactive dashboards that provide data on financial hardship at the state, county, and local levels, visit