Homeless Statistics within the USA is often not visible mainly due to the wide expansion of wealth throughout the majority of metropolitan areas. Even though, almost the entire population of the United States has adequate housing and decent living conditions, homeless people still exist across the country due to a wide number of factors. Statistics have demonstrated that there are anywhere from 600,000 to 1.1 million people homeless in the United States at any given time.
It is remarkable that the amount of homeless people have almost doubled since the 1980′s. One unique characteristic about this problem is that the number of homeless people tend to lower in number every now and then, and increase in numbers every now and then as well; making it challenging for statistics to show the exact number of homeless people at a precise time.
During the course of history in the U.S., especially in booming economic time periods, the homeless population was in record low levels. Since the 1980’s due to economic distress and crises,the number of homeless people has been steadily increasing until today. The average number of homeless people during the 1980’s rose from 200,000 individuals to almost 500,000 within a 10 year period. Another decade period brought new challenges where this number now exceeds 500,000 as of today.
Current statistics represent that the economic and real estate crisis in the United States since 2007 have affected more than 1.5 million families to fall into homelessness during the 2007-2012 period. Several studies and statistical tests represent that since 2007, there are approximately 2.4 to 3.6 million people who experience homelessness on any single year, where a large majority of them experience it at least temporarily, and a minority experiences it on a permanent basis. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has released numerous reports that give an insight to the number of people who experience homelessness for at least one night. During the majority of months in 2007, an estimated 687,000 individuals experienced homelessness for at least one night every month. Almost 60% of these individuals lived in homeless shelters while the remaining 40% were unsheltered.
Different Factors Of Homeless Statistics
The United States unlike many other countries around the world with higher homeless statistics has a beneficial characteristic that the condition of homelessness is temporary in almost 80% of the cases. Anywhere from 75% to 80% of people who fall homeless are able to find shelters, adequate affordable housing or any other permanent residence within 3 months of falling homeless, making homelessness a temporary rather than a permanent condition for the population in the United States. However, chronic homelessness affects an average of 20% to 25% of those individuals who fall homeless. Estimates represent that an average of 23% of homeless individuals are in the chronic condition of not finding adequate housing for more than 1 year from the moment in which they fall into homelessness.
These statistics mainly represent the situation of homelessness in adults over the age of 21. Other statistics represent and focus on child homelessness. The National Center on Family Homelessness reports that 1 out of every 50 children in the U.S. is homeless every year. These reports are valid as of 2009, where there is an estimated number of 1.5 million children homeless every year while the remaining portion are adults over the age of 21.
Categorizing which cities and states have the highest homeless rates positively correlates to the large populations present in the given city or state. The states and cities with the largest populations in the United States have a high number of homeless individuals, which include New York, California, Texas and Florida; New York City, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Dallas and San Francisco respectively. Other medium-populated states such as Alaska, Colorado, Nevada and Oregon also have high numbers of homeless individuals as well as their respective cities. Reports and statistical surveys also show that 73% of homeless people are located in urban cities, 20% are located in suburbs, and less than 7% are in rural suburbs.
Who are the Homeless?
The demographics of homeless people mainly represent Whites and African Americans as the two races mostly affected by homelessness. Reports on demographical studies categorize homeless individuals as 35% being white, 45% African American, 12% Hispanic, 5% Native American and less than 3% being Asian. Statistics also show that both young and elderly veterans are the demographic group more likely to fall into homelessness. Estimates cite that 40% of veterans who have survived and came back to the US are homeless, comprising a large portion of the male adult population who are homeless on a constant basis.
Surveys conducted on recent homeless individuals represent that the main causes of their homelessness are lack of income, unemployment, poverty, and the inability to find affordable housing. An estimated 65% of those surveyed say that they are in homelessness due to one of these factors. However, surveys represent that other non-economic factors play a role in the situation of homelessness. Mental illness, substance abuse, drug addiction, alcohol addiction, parent abuse, disease, emotional distress, depression and other health problems are major contributors to the growing problem of homeless people in the U.S.
Many organizations and non-profit institutions have implemented programs to help homeless families, and individuals to improve their lives in the long run. The established solutions are directed toward eliminating those problems, social issues and habits that lead people into poverty such as violence, lack of education, poverty, unemployment and substance abuse. The programs have created long lasting solutions throughout several decades, but many challenges still remain to combat homelessness, especially during tough economic circumstances in the United States.