This graphic visualizes data on point-in-time (PIT) estimates of homelessness. The PIT estimates are based on counts of all sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons on a single night in January, 2013.

For the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s detailed definition of “homeless,” go here:

Those who are identified as “unsheltered” live in places not meant for human habitation, such as streets, vehicles, parks, campgrounds, abandoned buildings, etc.

In general, the number of homeless people tracks population density, so the upper map shows homeless persons per 1,000 state population. The top states are HI, NY, CA, and OR, though these are all less than half the per capita tally in DC. Had I used raw counts of homeless people (without normalizing by population), CA would have had the highest value at 137,000. The next highest counts are NY (77,000) and FL (48,000). The balance of sheltered and unsheltered is largely influenced by climate; more extreme climates found in the northern and eastern parts of the country have lower percentages of unsheltered homeless people. ND is an exception to this trend – it has approximately 2,000 homeless people, two-thirds of whom are unsheltered.

Data source:

Posted on 20 January, 2014

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  1. courtikate26 reblogged this from vizual-statistix
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  5. letters-from-the-sky1 reblogged this from vizual-statistix and added:
    As a Oregonian, our government should be doing more to help the homeless.
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  19. iamuhura reblogged this from mcscooterson and added:
    THIRD HIGHEST NUMBER OF HOMELESS PEOPLE IN THE UNITED STATES. Right here. Seattle, Washington. Get your “tech sector...
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  23. rachelwalexander reblogged this from seattlish and added:
    I’m disturbed that Seattle is somehow ahead of San Francisco on homelessness, although we appear to be sheltering more...
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  25. seattlish reblogged this from vizual-statistix and added:
    Next time someone tells you we have so much “generalized prosperity” and are such a “wealthy” region, I want you all to...