January 21, 2018

Estimating the Number of Homeless in America

Statistics Show that America’s Homeless Problem Is Getting Worse

Kizley Benedict

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), there were roughly 554,000 homeless people living somewhere in the United States on a given night last year. A total of 193,000 of those people were "unsheltered," meaning that they were living on the streets and had no access to emergency shelters, transitional housing, or Safe Havens. Despite a booming stock market and strong economic growth, a large swathe of America is still struggling to make ends meet.

We've created the following infographic to summarize the data from HUD's most recent assessment of homelessness in the U.S. More affordable housing options are needed to combat the homeless crisis, particularly in states on the West Coast.

Number Of Homeless Us Based On Hud Statistics
Number Of Homeless Us Based On Hud Statistics Mob


The count of homeless collected by the Department of Housing and Urban Development are point-in-time (PIT) estimates taken on one night in the last 10 days of January each year. Data is recorded on the national, CoC (Continuum of Care) and state level. Detailed information on HUD’s data collection methodology can be found here. Data and reports can be downloaded here.

The number of homeless per 10,000 residents for 2017 was calculated by dividing the raw counts of homeless by the total number of residents of the particular state. Count of residents per state was obtained from the “2016 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates” on census.gov. Data can be downloaded here.

The data for median listing price by state are prices as of November 2017 and can be downloaded here.