State Overview

Despite some ups and downs in rates of financial hardship since the end of the Great Recession, the trend is clear: The number of ALICE households in Texas has been steadily growing. From 2010 to 2022, the total number of households in the state increased by 26%, the number of households in poverty increased by 9%, and the number of ALICE households increased by 38%. By 2022, 14% (1,492,785) of all households were below the FPL, and 29% (3,216,075) of all households were ALICE — a combined 43% (4,708,860) of households struggling to make ends meet.


Figure 3

Household Financial Status and Key Demo, Texas, 2021

The ALICE measures show three critical trends at the state level:

The cost of household essentials (housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, a smart phone plan, and taxes) is rising faster than the cost of other goods and services.

Growth is concentrated in low-wage jobs; there have been minimal increases in wages; and fluctuations in job hours, schedules, and access to benefits make it harder for workers to budget and plan.

While the number of households in poverty has stayed relatively flat from 2007 to 2018, the number of ALICE households has continued to increase as a result of rising costs and stagnant wages.