Understanding Area Median Income, the Missing Middle, and the ALICE Threshold

Median Income

Median income is a statistical measure that represents the income level that separates the higher half of a population from the lower half. It’s often used as a more accurate representation of the “average” income in a population compared to the mean (or arithmetic average), especially when the income distribution is skewed due to outliers. To find the median income, you would list all the incomes from lowest to highest and find the middle value.

According to the U.S. Census, in 2022 the median income in Holland was $69,152.

AMI Percentages

A household making 100% AMI in this example would be making roughly $69,152. So an AMI range of 80% – 120% would be anyone making 80% of the AMI ($55,322) to 120% of the median (82,982).

The Missing Middle

As defined more in our related blog What is the Missing Middle, the Missing Middle describes households that fall into this 80%-120% AMI range.

The Alice Threshold

26% of Michigan households fall within the ALICE Threshold, a line that identifies households that are Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. Meaning households that are above the Federal Poverty Level, but still in financial hardship. The latest ALICE report in Michigan states that the crux of the problem is a mismatch between earnings and basic costs of living.

While calculated differently than the Missing Middle, ALICE statistics also help paint a picture of our local economy’s overall health. You can learn more about the methodology behind ALICE on the United for ALICE website.

How We Help

Jubilee works to serve this missing portion of the population with our housing projects. Even with generous increases in wages from local employers, the current cost of housing outpaces affordability. Jubilee’s job is to fill the gap between wages and affordability for our community by creating housing projects with homeownership opportunities that base the price of the home on a buyer’s income to guarantee long-term affordability of the home.

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