Homelessness in the United States

How large is the estimated homeless population of each US state?

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Map of the homeless population in the United States.

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We recently looked at the homeless population in Europe. Today we’re going to look at the homeless population in the US. Some American cities like San Francisco are infamous for their large homeless population. Which gives many people outside of the US the idea that homelessness is rampant in the US. This is partially true. San Francisco, with about 91 homeless people per 10,000, has indeed a very high number of homeless people. But this is not the case everywhere in the US.

This map gives us a good view at which parts of the US have a higher homeless population per 10,000 people than others. D.C. has by far the highest number of homeless people per 10,000 people. However, this is not completely fair, as it is much smaller and more densely populated than a city.

What stands out clearly, is the high numbers in the western states. Especially in California, Oregon and Hawaii. In the north-east, we can see that New York and Massachusetts clearly stand out. New York has the highest number of homeless people per 10,000 people of all US states. The rest of the US looks fairly ok on the state level.

It would be interesting to look at the homeless population per city, as these places usually have a higher concentration of homeless people. A map like that might give a different view of the problem. However, it is a bit more challenging to create a map like that with the right data. I am trying to work on it at the moment and hope I can actually create such a map. So stay tuned!


  1. I had no idea that homelessness was so pronounced in the western part of the United States. New York seems to have its share as well. I am working on a thesis that studies demography with U.S. homelessness, hoping to one day to find some solutions.


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