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Homeless Statistics

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Australia Homeless Statistics

The 2001 Population Census data:

  • 99,900 houseless people in Australia (105,304 in 1996)
  • 54% adults over 24 years of age
  • 10% under the age of 12 years
  • 36% young people between 12 and 24 years
  • 42% of houseless people were female
  • 58% were single (58,116)
  • 19% were couples (18,840)
  • 23% were families (22,944 people or 6,745 families

On census night in 2001, only 14,251 (14.25%) of people considered by the census to be houseless were staying in services funded through the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP). SAAP, jointly funded by Commonwealth and State Governments, provides funds for crisis services to houseless people around the country.

Yhe following information relates only to SAAP clients (2002-2003 data)

  • Male (42%)
  • Female (58%)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (18%)
  • People from non-English speaking backgrounds (14%)
  • Average age of female clients: 30
  • Average age of male clients: 33

People aged 18 and 19 years had the highest rate of SAAP service usage at 145 clients for every 10,000 in the general population.

The next highest usage rates were by 15-17 year olds and 20-24 year olds, among whom there were 114 and 113 clients, respectively for every 10,000 people.

Nationally, nearly one-third (31%) of support periods were provided to males aged 25 years and over presenting alone at SAAP agencies and 21% were provided to female clients with children.

Unaccompanied females aged 25 years and over accounted for 15%, while unaccompanied males and females under 25 years accounted for around 13% of support periods each.

Overall, 6% of support periods were for couples with or without children. Males with children accounted for just 1% of all support periods.

Most common reasons for houselessness (SAAP survey):

  • Domestic and family violence (22%)
  • Eviction/previous accommodation ended (11%)
  • Relationship/family breakdown (11%)
  • Usual accommodation unavailable (11%)
  • Financial Difficulty (10%)

The most common reasons for each client group are:

Male alone, aged under 25

  • Usual accommodation unavailable (16.7%)
  • Relationship/family breakdown (16.5%)

Male alone, aged 25 or over

  • Financial difficulty (15.4 %)
  • Usual accommodation unavailable (14.9%)

Female alone, aged under 25

  • Relationship/family breakdown (21.5%)
  • Domestic violence (12.3 %)

Female alone, aged 25 or over

  • Domestic and Family Violence (43.9%)

Couple with no children

  • Eviction/accommodation ended (21%)
  • Financial difficulty (14%)

Couple with children

  • Eviction/accommodation ended (26.7%)
  • Usual accommodation unavailable (14.1%)

Male with children

  • Eviction/accommodation ended (20.9%)
  • Relationship/relationship breakdown (17.7%)

Female with children

  • Domestic and Family Violence (51.8%)
  • Eviction/accommodation ended (9.1%)

Canada Homeless Statistics

Shelter Occupancy Rates by Canadian Province March 2001

According to the 2001 census, the following occupancy rates in Canadian shelters (meaning homeless shelters, halfway houses and emergency lodgings for abused spouses and their children) on one day in March were reported as:

Canada 14,145 (total)
Ontario 6,100
Quebec 3,365
Alberta 1,935
British Columbia 1,085
Manitoba 885
New Brunswick 265
Saskatchewan 255
Nova Scotia 165
Newfoundland and Labrador 45
Northwest Territories 20
Yukon Territory 15
Prince Edward Island 5
Nunavut 5

"The data should not be interpreted as Canada's homeless population but the number of people in shelters that day."

The statistics are fairly accurate for a "one day spot check," says Diane Morrison, executive director of The Mission, a homeless shelter in Ottawa. The numbers reflect only the month of May, when the census was taken.

"If the data had been taken during winter, when we experience our highest occupancy rates, the results would have been quite different," she says.

United Kingdom Homeless Statistics

If you can work out what the situation is in the UK, please let us know. Their stats are smoke and mirrors and completely unbelievable in my opinion. Either they don't know (most likely), or don't want to say in plain statistics, or I'm just not getting it.

United States Homeless Statistics

From the National Coalition for the Homeless: Poverty, Urban Institute and specifically the National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers, draw their estimates from a study of service providers across the country at two different times of the year in 1996.

They found that, on a given night in October, 444,000 people (in 346,000 households) experienced homelessness - which translates to 6.3% of the population of people living in poverty. On a given night in February, 842,000 (in 637,000 households) experienced homelessness - which translates to almost 10% of the population of people living in poverty.

Converting these estimates into an annual projection, the numbers that emerge are 2.3 million people (based on the October estimate) and 3.5 million people (based on the February estimate).This translates to approximately 1% of the U.S. population experiencing homelessness each year, 38% (October) to 39% (February) of them being children (Urban Institute 2000).

It is also important to note that this study was based on a national survey of service providers. Since not all people experiencing homelessness utilize service providers, the actual numbers of people experiencing homelessness are likely higher than those found in the study, Thus, we are estimating on the high end of the study's numbers: 3.5 million people, 39% of which are children(Urban Institute 2000).