Who Experiences Homelessness?
Anybody can experience homelessness, but Some groups of people are more likely to experience homelessness than others. People currently living in poverty or from minority groups, such as African Americans are more likely to experience homelessness than their white counterparts. The majority of people experiencing homelessness in the United States are adults without children.
2019 National Point In Time Statistics
- On a single night in 2019, about 568,000 people were experiencing homelessness in the United States.
- Nearly two-thirds (63%) were staying in sheltered locations—emergency shelters or transitional housing programs—and more than one-third (37%) were unsheltered and staying in places not meant for human habitation, such as abandoned buildings
- African Americans have remained considerably overrepresented among the homeless population compared to the U.S. population. African Americans accounted for 40 percent of all people experiencing homelessness in 2019 and 52 percent of people experiencing homelessness as members of families with children, despite being 13 percent of the U.S. population.
- 48 percent of all people experiencing homelessness were white compared with 77 percent of the U.S. population. People identifying as Hispanic or Latino (who can be of any race) are about 22 percent of the homeless population but only 18 percent of the population overall.
- On a single night in 2019, about 35,000 people were experiencing homelessness as unaccompanied youth—that is, people under the age of 25 experiencing homelessness on their own.
- In 2019, less than 172,000 people in families with children were experiencing homelessness, and most people experiencing homelessness in families with children were staying in sheltered locations (91%). A large part of the decline in family homelessness since 2007 has occurred among people staying in unsheltered locations.
- Nearly two-thirds of people experiencing homelessness were men or boys (61% or 343,187 men and boys), 39 percent were women or girls (219,911 women and girls), and less than one percent were transgender (3,255 people) or gender non-conforming (1,362 people). These gender characteristics reflect the high percentage of men among the homeless individual population.
- Nearly half of all people experiencing homelessness in the country were in three states: California (27% or 151,278 people); New York (16% or 92,091 people); and Florida (5% or 28,328 people).