By Mike Kruzman /

While a recent study by the University of Michigan shows far fewer Livingston County residents are living in poverty than the state average, the number of those termed as “working poor” is fairly significant.

The latest Michigan Poverty and Well-Being Map has been released by the University of Michigan Poverty Solutions. U of M Poverty Solutions is an initiative that aims to prevent and alleviate poverty through action-based research. When it comes to actual poverty rates, Livingston County has the fewest residents living below the poverty level, at 5%. The state average is 14.1%.

The study also looks at the United Way’s ALICE metric. ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Restrained, and Employed. It counts the number of households in each county whose income puts them above the federal poverty line, yet still can’t afford a basic household budget. The state average is 29%, with Livingston County coming in at 26.1%. While this is better than the average, it still shows that more than one-quarter of Livingston County households are struggling financially.

H. Luke Schaefer, Director of Poverty Solutions, said in a release that even before the pandemic spread to Michigan, there were many people struggling, and this global pandemic will make it even more difficult for them. Senior Research Associate Jennifer Erb-Downward said that given how many people were experiencing housing instability before the outbreak, we need to be proactive in thinking about how to prevent a large number of evictions as soon as the health crisis and the moratorium on evictions ends.

A link to the full study can be found here: