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Homeless Population by State

Homeless Population by State
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Homelessness in America

Homelessness is one of the largest societal issues in the United States, impacting people from diverse backgrounds and circumstances. In 2022, a staggering 582,500 individuals were experiencing homelessness on a single night across the nation.

Out of this homeless population, around 60% found refuge in sheltered locations like emergency shelters, transitional housing programs, or safe havens. Alarmingly, however, 40% were left to reside in uninhabitable spaces, such as streets or abandoned buildings, highlighting the harsh reality faced by a significant portion of the homeless community.

Between 2020 and 2022, the homeless population in America saw a slight increase of less than one percent. This modest uptick was a result of various factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic. As pandemic-related restrictions began to ease in 2021, shelters were able to safely accommodate more people, leading to a seven percent rise in sheltered homelessness while still adhering to safety guidelines.

Key findings from the data include:

  • On a single night in 2022, an estimated 582,500 people were experiencing homelessness in the United States.
  • Homelessness has increased 0.3% nationwide between 2020 and 2022, with a 6.9% increase in sheltered homelessness between 2021 and 2022.
  • There is an overrepresentation of people identifying as Black, African American, or African and indigenous people among the homeless population compared to the general U.S. population.
  • From 2020 to 2022, the number of veterans experiencing homelessness declined by 11 percent, a significant reduction.
  • Six in every ten people experiencing unsheltered homelessness did so in urban areas, with the remaining split almost evenly between suburban and rural areas.
  • Chronic patterns of homelessness affect 30% of individuals experiencing homelessness in 2022.

Homelessness is a multifaceted issue that affects a diverse range of individuals and families across the United States. Understanding the scope and nature of homelessness in each state is a crucial step toward developing effective strategies and solutions to combat this pressing issue.

States with the Most Homeless People

Homelessness is a deeply-rooted and complex issue that affects millions of people across the United States. While every state grapples with this societal concern to some extent, there are ten states that stand out for their particularly high homeless populations. These states are:

  1. California (171,521)
  2. New York (74,178)
  3. Florida (25,959)
  4. Washington (25,211)
  5. Texas (24,432)
  6. Oregon (17,959)
  7. Massachusetts (15,507)
  8. Arizona (13,553)
  9. Pennsylvania (12,691)
  10. Georgia (10,689)

Collectively, these ten states account for over 60% of America's homeless population, highlighting the severity of the problem within their borders.

Homelessness by State

Full Data Set

The data points presented are defined as follows:

  • Homeless Population - Number of people who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.
  • Change from 2020 - Percentage change in the number of homeless individuals from 2020 to 2022. 
  • Change from 2007 - Percentage change in the number of homeless individuals from 2007 to 2022. 
  • Homeless Rate - The rate of homeless individuals for every 10,000 people in the state.
  • Unsheltered Homeless Rate - The percentage of homeless individuals who don't have regular access to shelters or transitional housing programs and instead reside in uninhabitable spaces, such as streets or abandoned buildings.

To sort the data in the table, click on the column headers.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How many people are homeless in America?

There were approximately 582,500 homeless people in the United States on a single night in 2022. Six in ten (60%) were staying in sheltered locations—emergency shelters, safe havens, or transitional housing programs—and four in ten (40%) were in unsheltered locations such as on the street, in abandoned buildings, or in other places not suitable for human habitation.

2. Which state has the most homeless?

As of 2022, California's homeless population stands at 171,521, the highest in the nation. The state has experienced a 6.2% increase in homelessness since 2020, making it the 18th fastest-growing homeless population in the U.S. Furthermore, homelessness in California has seen a 23.40% rise since 2007, placing it 8th in the nation in terms of growth since that year.

Notably, California also has the highest rate of homelessness per capita, with 43.7 individuals experiencing homelessness for every 10,000 residents and the highest unsheltered homeless rate at 67.3%, meaning that a significant majority of the state's homeless population is not living in shelters or other temporary housing options.

3. Which state has the lowest homeless population?

The state with the lowest homeless population in the U.S is North Dakota, which only has 610 homeless people. However, when accounting for population the state of Mississippi has the lowest rate of homelessness with only 4.1 homeless individuals for every 10,000 people. In comparison North Dakota has 7.9 homeless individuals for every 10,000 people.