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Estimated number of homeless people in the U.S. 2007-2019

In 2019, there were about 567,715 homeless people living in the United States. While this number had been steadily decreasing since 2007, in the last two years it has started to increase.

How is homelessness calculated?

It is hard to calculate homelessness for several different reasons. It is hard to find how many homeless people are there because there is no direct definition for homelessness and it is hard to find every single homeless person that exists. Sometimes they are not able to be reached, leaving people unaccounted for. In the United States, the Department of Housing and Urban Development calculates the homeless population by counting the number of people on the streets and the number of people in homeless shelters on one night each year. According to this count, New York City is the city with the largest number of homeless people in the United States.

Homelessness in the United States

Between 2018 and 2019, New Mexico saw the highest increase in the number of homeless people. However, in 2019 California had the highest number of homeless people living there. A large part of the homelessness in California is a result of multiple factors, one of them being the extreme high cost of living, as well as opposition to mandatory mental health counseling and drug addiction. However, the District of Columbia that had the highest estimated rate of homelessness per 10,000 people. This was followed by New York state, Hawaii, California and Oregon.

Estimated number of homeless people in the United States from 2007 to 2019

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Release date

January 2020


United States

Survey time period

2007 to 2019

Supplementary notes

The number of homeless people is based on point in time estimates, unduplicated one-night estimates of sheltered and unsheltered homeless populations. They are carried out nationwide during the last 10 days of January of each year by Continuums of Care (CoC).

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Statistics on "Homelessness in the U.S."

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