How Much Is Enough? The Alabama Self-Sufficiency Standard Updated

Self-sufficiency means more than "getting by." The government's assessment of who's poor and who's not reflects an outdated understanding of "income inadequacy." By answering the question "How much is too little?," poverty thresholds identify income levels that provide a clearly unacceptable standard of living.

In 2003, Arise Citizens' Policy Project and Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) released a study that answers a different question -- "How much is enough?" The study found that full-time employment with benefits is no guarantee of ecomic independence. Rather, self-sufficiency requires a living wage that covers actual basic expenses.

Here you'll find county-by-county self-sufficiency tables updated using 2007 economic data.

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