Homelessness Statistics

  • Over a five-year period, about 2–3 percent of the U.S. population (5–8 million people) will experience at least one night of homelessness ("Homelessness Statistics and Data", Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration).
  • A study done by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty which states that approximately 3.5 million people, 1.35 million of them children, are likely to experience homelessness in a given year ("How Many People Experience Homelessness?", National Coalition for the Homeless).
  • On any given day, at least 800,000 people are homeless in the U.S., including about 200,000 children in homeless families ("What Will It Take to End Homelessness?", the Urban Institute).
  • As much as 10 percent of the poor people in the country may be homeless each year (ibid.).
  • In a survey of 21 cities, it was found that 23 percent of the homeless are members of households with children, 23 percent are individuals, while one percent is made up of unaccompanied youth ("How Many People Experience Homelessness?").
  • One to three percent of the cities’ total population used a shelter or transitional housing in 2007 (ibid.).
  • Singles and unaccompanied children remain homeless an average of 4.7 months while 5.7 months is the average for families with children in the 23 survey cities (ibid.).
  • The homeless population is estimated to be 42 percent African-American, 39 percent white, 13 percent Hispanic, 4 percent Native American and 2 percent Asian (ibid.).
  • In 2003, children under the age of 18 accounted for 39% of the homeless population; 42% of these children were under the age of five ("Who Is Homeless?", National Coalition for the Homeless).
  • In 2007, a survey by the U.S. Conference of Mayors found that of the population surveyed 35% of the homeless people who are members of households with children are male while 65% of these people are females. However, 67.5% of the single homeless population are males, and it is this single population that makes up 76% of the homeless populations surveyed (ibid.).
  • A 2003 survey of 100 homeless mothers in 10 locations around the country found that 25% of the women had been physically abused in the last year (ibid.).
  • Many homeless men are veterans: 40% have served in the armed forces, as compared to 34% of the general adult male population (ibid.)
  • An average of 22 percent of homeless single people is considered mentally ill while 8 percent of homeless individuals in a household with children were found to have mental illnesses ("How Many People Experience Homelessness?").
  • The Council for Affordable and Rural Housing estimates that about nine percent of the nation’s homeless are in rural areas (ibid.).
  • Of the children and youth identified as homeless by the Department of Education in FY2000, only 35% lived in shelters; 34% lived doubled-up with family or friends, and 23% lived in motels and other locations (ibid.).


Faith (for Content): 
Other Tags: