It’s the state with the most homeless – 24/7 Wall St.

Special report

Data on homelessness in the United States is inaccurate. By most measures, the figure is just under 600,000. However, the number of people who are homeless for brief periods is different from those who are permanently homeless – and the numbers have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. For reasons at least partly related to the pandemic, a portion of Americans — up to 35% in some states — say they’ve missed their rent or mortgage payments or have little confidence in their ability to pay next month, according to the U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey. (These are states where people can’t pay their mortgages.)

Among the aspects of the homelessness problem that are commonly discussed is the fact that the country is far from finding a solution. Another is that solutions, even those that partially solve the problem, have been expensive. According to CNBC, New York City spent $3 billion to support its homeless population in 2019. And by current metrics, New York is the state with the most homeless people per capita in America.

To compile a list of the number of homeless people in each state, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the most comprehensive study of homelessness in America, state of homelessness: 2021 editionpublished by the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

As invaluable as the study is, the authors point out a significant downside to the work:

“The current report,” they point out, “is inspired by the one-time national count that took place in January 2020, just weeks before COVID-19 was declared a national emergency. Thus, the data does not reflect any of the changes brought about by the crisis.

The report examines several aspects of the problem, basing itself first and foremost on demographic and geographical data. The basis of the report is that 580,466 people were left homeless in January 2020. About a third were families with children. Data on veterans and unaccompanied youth were also collected. The study also collected information on homeless people who were housed and those who were not housed.

Men are much more likely to be homeless than women. White Americans are more likely to be homeless than black Americans. However, since there are many more whites than blacks, this number is only of partial value.

Over the past decade and a half, homelessness has started to decline, but has risen again rapidly in recent years. There were 657,248 homeless Americans in 2007. Of course, that was at the start of the Great Recession. It fell to 549,528 in 2016. (These are the richest and poorest states in America.)

Logically, the largest state in the country by population would have the most homelessness. It’s true. California had 161,548 in 2020. This population relationship breaks down based on the next state. New York ranks fourth among states in terms of population behind California, Texas and Florida. It ranked second in the homeless population with 91,271. This is mainly due to the size of this population in New York.

Therefore, raw population may not be the best way to assess homelessness by geography. The study also examines homelessness per 10,000 people of the total population. On that basis, New York State has the highest number at 46.9, followed by Hawaii at 45.6 and California at 40.9.

Click here to see the state with the most homelessness

About Teresa G. Wilson

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