Skip to main content

Main Area

Main

States with the most homelessness

  • #11. Colorado

    - State homeless population, 2019: 9,619 (0.17% of state population, -11.4% change from 2018)
    - Gender demographics: 65.4% men, 33.7% women
    - Race demographics: 65.0% White, 17.4% Black or African American, 0.7% Asian, 6.1% Native American or Alaska Native
    - Ethnicity demographics: 23.0% Hispanic/Latino, 77.0% Non-Hispanic/Latino
    - Urban area with the largest homeless population: Metropolitan Denver (5,755 people, 59.8% of state homeless population)

    Stagnant wages and a shortage of affordable housing are some of the reasons why Denver, Colorado, has a high rate of homelessness, according to executive director of the Metro Denver Homelessness Initiative Matt Meyer. Families with children account for nearly a quarter of the homeless people in the city, according to the 2019 Point in Time count.

  • #10. Vermont

    - State homeless population, 2019: 1,089 (0.17% of state population, -15.6% change from 2018)
    - Gender demographics: 56.6% men, 42.3% women
    - Race demographics: 84.9% White, 7.8% Black or African American, 1.7% Asian, 0.7% Native American or Alaska Native
    - Ethnicity demographics: 3.9% Hispanic/Latino, 96.1% Non-Hispanic/Latino
    - Urban area with the largest homeless population: Burlington/Chittenden County (309 people, 28.4% of state homeless population)

    In mid-June 2020, Vermont officials unveiled a plan to move about 2,000 homeless people who were formerly in shelters but currently living in hotels and motels into permanent housing, according to Kevin McCallum of Seven Days. The plan will cost $23 million, more than half of which will come from the state’s coronavirus relief funds.

  • #9. Nevada

    - State homeless population, 2019: 7,169 (0.25% of state population, -5.0% change from 2018)
    - Gender demographics: 70.3% men, 29.2% women
    - Race demographics: 59.9% White, 30.8% Black or African American, 2.0% Asian, 2.6% Native American or Alaska Native
    - Ethnicity demographics: 13.2% Hispanic/Latino, 86.8% Non-Hispanic/Latino
    - Urban area with the largest homeless population: Las Vegas/Clark County (5,530 people, 77.1% of state homeless population)

    Nevada was recently awarded nearly $33.5 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to help homeless families during the pandemic, according to Jeniffer Solis of the Nevada Current. The money will be used to build emergency shelters, offer vouchers for hotels or motels to families in need, and provide rapid rehousing.

  • #8. Alaska

    - State homeless population, 2019: 1,907 (0.26% of state population, -5.4% change from 2018)
    - Gender demographics: 59.6% men, 39.9% women
    - Race demographics: 35.0% White, 8.6% Black or African American, 1.9% Asian, 40.1% Native American or Alaska Native
    - Ethnicity demographics: 5.5% Hispanic/Latino, 94.5% Non-Hispanic/Latino
    - Urban area with the largest homeless population: Anchorage (1,111 people, 58.3% of state homeless population)

    Recent budget cuts in Alaska have made things more difficult for the state’s homeless population. Some shelters in Anchorage had to shut down during the day and put people on the streets, while overcrowded quarters in rural areas often leads to health problems for at-risk people, according to Ben Kesslen of NBC News.

  • #7. Massachusetts

    - State homeless population, 2019: 18,471 (0.27% of state population, -8.0% change from 2018)
    - Gender demographics: 50.4% men, 49.4% women
    - Race demographics: 52.4% White, 34.8% Black or African American, 0.9% Asian, 0.7% Native American or Alaska Native
    - Ethnicity demographics: 40.0% Hispanic/Latino, 60.0% Non-Hispanic/Latino
    - Urban area with the largest homeless population: Boston (6,242 people, 33.8% of state homeless population)

    Some of the leading causes of homelessness in Massachusetts are the state’s high cost of houses and apartments and a lack of housing subsidies, according to Kelly Turley, associate director at the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless. The state has been experiencing some of the highest rates of growth in homelessness in the country.

    You may also like: Former jobs of the governor of every state

  • #6. Washington

    - State homeless population, 2019: 21,577 (0.30% of state population, -3.3% change from 2018)
    - Gender demographics: 56.5% men, 40.9% women
    - Race demographics: 58.3% White, 20.6% Black or African American, 2.4% Asian, 8.1% Native American or Alaska Native
    - Ethnicity demographics: 14.2% Hispanic/Latino, 85.8% Non-Hispanic/Latino
    - Urban area with the largest homeless population: Seattle/King County (11,199 people, 51.9% of state homeless population)

    The rapid increase of rents in Washington is the leading factor driving homelessness, according to the Washington State Department of Commerce. Nonprofit organizations in the state provide housing for more than 98,000 people who are experiencing homelessness each year.

  • #5. California

    - State homeless population, 2019: 151,278 (0.39% of state population, +16.4% change from 2018)
    - Gender demographics: 65.0% men, 33.4% women
    - Race demographics: 54.3% White, 29.1% Black or African American, 1.7% Asian, 4.5% Native American or Alaska Native
    - Ethnicity demographics: 31.4% Hispanic/Latino, 68.6% Non-Hispanic/Latino
    - Urban area with the largest homeless population: Los Angeles City & County (56,257 people, 37.2% of state homeless population)

    The primary reason people become homeless in California is unaffordable rent, according to CalMatters. The state has around 1.3 million renter households that fall into the “extremely low income" category, taking home less than $25,000 annually.

  • #4. Oregon

    - State homeless population, 2019: 15,876 (0.39% of state population, +9.7% change from 2018)
    - Gender demographics: 60.2% men, 39.0% women
    - Race demographics: 80.9% White, 5.6% Black or African American, 0.5% Asian, 4.9% Native American or Alaska Native
    - Ethnicity demographics: 9.9% Hispanic/Latino, 90.1% Non-Hispanic/Latino
    - Urban area with the largest homeless population: Portland, Gresham/Multnomah County (4,015 people, 25.3% of state homeless population)

    High rents and a shortage of housing puts tens of thousands of families with children at risk of homelessness in Oregon. Many chronically homeless people in the state are also struggling with a lack of intensive social services and housing specialized to their needs, according to the Oregon Community Foundation.

  • #3. Hawaii

    - State homeless population, 2019: 6,412 (0.45% of state population, -1.8% change from 2018)
    - Gender demographics: 58.9% men, 40.4% women
    - Race demographics: 22.5% White, 3.7% Black or African American, 8.8% Asian, 0.7% Native American or Alaska Native
    - Ethnicity demographics: 13.3% Hispanic/Latino, 86.7% Non-Hispanic/Latino
    - Urban area with the largest homeless population: Data not available

    Subpar wages and ultra-high housing costs are two of the reasons why Hawaii has such a large homeless population, according to Melanie Schmitz of Bustle. In 2014, the state created a $1.3 million initiative to provide flights for homeless people in Waikiki to the continental U.S. in an effort to curb homelessness, according to Robbie Couch of the Huffington Post.

  • #2. New York

    - State homeless population, 2019: 92,091 (0.47% of state population, +0.2% change from 2018)
    - Gender demographics: 52.9% men, 46.7% women
    - Race demographics: 22.7% White, 70.0% Black or African American, 1.2% Asian, 0.4% Native American or Alaska Native
    - Ethnicity demographics: 33.3% Hispanic/Latino, 66.7% Non-Hispanic/Latino
    - Urban area with the largest homeless population: New York City (78,604 people, 85.4% of state homeless population)

    A shortage of affordable housing is driving the increasing rates of homelessness in New York City, according to Daniel Brown of Business Insider. More than 60,000 people lived in the shelter system, while another 4,000 spent the night in the subways, on the streets, or in other areas around the city.

2018 All rights reserved.