Community Data


United Way of Marathon County reviews data, monitors trends, and stays informed about local issues. This information helps us set priorities to guide our investments and initiatives.

Community Data

LIFE Report

The newest LIFE report is now available!

The LIFE report provides a wide spectrum of information and data depicting the quality of life in Wausau and Marathon County.  Its purpose is to provide a reference for the community to evaluate strengths and weaknesses and identify priority issues.

The report, which is published every two years, serves as a tracking vehicle to show how the community has changed over time. The LIFE Steering Committee hopes this report will not only serve as a reference but also as a starting point for community action on the key Calls to Action.




The LIFE Report project is guided by the LIFE Project Steering Committee and made possible through the support of community sponsors.

United Way of Marathon County uses local data to identify community needs and priorities for funding and issue work. Both the LIFE Report and the statewide ALICE Report contain valuable information to inform decision-making, not only for United Way, but for other community partners as well.





Who is ALICE?

The new United Way of Wisconsin ALICE® Reports over One-Third of Wisconsinites Struggle to Make Ends Meet Financially. Wisconsin households had difficulty affording basic necessities like housing, food, transportation, child care, and internet access. Read more here:

Marathon County ALICE: 29% are ALICE households. 

The city of Wausau’s ALICE percentage: 42%

66% of the overall ALICE population in Marathon County is employed

17.6% is retired

Key villages/cities/communities and their ALICE percentages:

  • Abbotsford – 37%
  • Athens – 42%
  • Colby – 51%
  • Edgar – 38%
  • Marshfield – 45%
  • Mosinee – 37%
  • Schofield – 36%
  • Wausau – 42%

In 2019 a lot of great work was done with the ALICE population, and all of that work was completely erased by the pandemic, putting us back to almost the same spot we were at in 2018.

These data points were also collected in 2021, at a time when people did have a bit more income because of the COVID payments, along with the extended child tax credit. It’s safe to assume that both of the monetary benefits of those measures are now dissipated.

Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed

ALICE represents individuals and households who earn just above the Federal Poverty Level but less than what it costs to make ends meet. ALICE workers often struggle to keep their own households from financial ruin while keeping our communities running.

Marathon County Marathon County has a significant ALICE population.  

The first step to helping ALICE is understanding who ALICE is, reading the report, and sharing it with your networks. Local United Ways across the state of Wisconsin are committed to improving the lives of ALICE families and those in poverty by promoting resources for stability. Addressing these issues will not only help advance the quality of life for those suffering from continued financial hardship but also uplift communities.

Take the Challenge - Making Tough Choices Simulator
Access an interactive tool walks you through the tough choices ALICE families experience every day - and what United Way is doing to help them along the way.