Dec 15, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Homelessness in the U.S. jumped to record level in 2023, government says

Data: Department of Housing and Urban Development; Note: Excludes 2021 because of COVID-related disruptions to that year's count; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. homelessness reached a record high in 2023, according to data the federal government released Friday.

The big picture: Homelessness increased by about 12% nationwide since last year, and it rose across all household types, the Department of Housing and Urban Development said in a new report.

  • About 653,100 people experienced homelessness on a single night in 2023, according to an annual count done in January.
  • This year's result "is the highest number of people reported as experiencing homelessness on a single night since reporting began in 2007," the report says.

By the numbers: Black, African and Indigenous people were overrepresented among the population experiencing homelessness, as has been the case in previous years, the HUD found.

  • Black people made up 13% of the U.S. population in 2023, but they made up 21% of the U.S. population living in poverty, 37% of all people experiencing homelessness and 50% of homeless people in families with children.
  • Asian and Asian American people had the largest percentage increase in homelessness, up 40% from 2022, to a total of 11,574.
  • Hispanic and Latino people saw the largest numerical increase, up 28% from 2022 to 179,336 in 2023.

Zoom in: Families with children saw a 16% increase in homelessness.

  • This group made up about 28% of people experiencing homelessness, or roughly 186,100 people.
  • Unaccompanied youth made up 22% of all people under the age of 25 experiencing homelessness.

Details: More men (61%) than women (38%) experienced homelessness.

  • Men made up about every nine out of 10 homeless veterans.

Zoom out: The HUD measures homelessness based on a single point-in-time count during the last 10 days of January.

  • This year's "counts reflect a considerable lessening of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic on shelter use," the department's report said.
  • Pandemic-era social safety net programs expired throughout the year, such as income protections and eviction moratoria.

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