Jan 5, 2024 - News

Utah sees less homelessness than other western states

Estimated homelessness rate, January 2023
Data: HUD; Map: Alice Feng/Axios

Although homelessness is worsening in Utah, it's even more widespread in almost all other western states.

  • That's according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's 2023 homelessness report.

By the numbers: Utah had 10.9 people experiencing homelessness per 10,000 residents in January 2023, Axios' Alex Fitzpatrick and Alice Feng report.

  • That's lower than all other states in or west of the Rocky Mountains, except Wyoming.
  • Most western states had significantly higher homelessness rates, with Oregon, California and Hawaii counting 40 or more residents per 10,000.

Details: The annual report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) attempts to estimate the number of people experiencing homelessness on a single night — in this case, late last January — to offer a snapshot useful to policymakers, advocates, researchers and others.

  • Yes, but: Some advocates believe point-in-time counts can be misleading and may drastically underestimate the true number of houseless individuals, as Axios Portland has reported.

The big picture: The U.S. reached a record high in 2023, Axios' April Rubin reports, with about 653,100 people experiencing homelessness.

  • Homelessness increased by about 12% nationwide between 2022 and 2023, per HUD's report.
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